- Rolex, Aon and Epson are the most active brands in LPGA tournaments
- Lexie Thompson has more endorsement deals than any other golfer on tour
Brands sponsoring the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) have received returns of up to 400 percent on their investments. SponsorsUnited reports.
The LPGA Marketing Partnerships Report for 2022/23, produced by sponsorship data and advertising services firm, found the number of brands active in LPGA tournaments, official partners and female golf athletes has doubled from 2019, with the total now in excess of 1,200 . Over the same period, there has been a significant increase of more than 1,000 percent in the number of brands partnering with LPGA Tour athletes.
Other findings from the study showed that LPGA tournaments have signed deals in 163 subcategories so far this year, down slightly from last year’s total of 165. The financial category was deemed the most active, with a 12 per cent increase in its activity. last year. Other active sectors include food products, business services, consumer products, and technology. Meanwhile, 83 percent of LPGA participants were actively purchasing properties that promoted diversity and inclusion.
Watch brand Rolex is considered the most active brand in LPGA tournaments ahead of Aon and Epson. In terms of the most active brands sponsoring female golf athletes, Titleist, Callaway and Ping ranked in the top three. American star Lexie Thompson was ranked the most heavily endorsed LPGA golfer with 19 deals, ahead of compatriot Nellie Korda and Gabby López of Mexico.
Players’ social posts on tour registered an average engagement rate of 4.6 percent, which was found to be twice the average of athletes in the five major North American sports leagues. Between 2022 and 2023, followers of female golfers playing on the circuit are expected to increase by an average of 15 percent, indicating continued growth.
“In a year marked by intense debate over the future of golf, the LPGA has quietly capitalized on growing interest in the sport to create a powerful business model that has resulted in substantial sponsorship returns,” said Bob Lynch, Founder and CEO of SponsorsUnited Is.”
“This growth is partly due to a combination of factors: the pandemic’s unexpected role in sparking global interest, the rise of widespread social content platforms for players, and the growing interest and influence in women’s sports participation.”
A study by SponsorsUnited last year indicated that the LPGA has more brand deals than any other women’s sports organization, underscoring its success in attracting sponsorships to its events.
The increased number of deals has helped the tour financially, to the extent that the current 2023 season has the biggest prize purse ever in the circuit’s history. Across 33 events, a total of US$101.4 million is on offer, while the winner of the upcoming Women’s US Open is set to earn at least a record US$11 million.
With the organization aiming to become more digital-savvy and increase fan engagement through partnerships like Nextel League and Legends, it won’t be surprising to see more brands strike deals with those who play on the Tour or at its events.