MILLINGTON and WILSON: LIV Golf: Sportwashing vs. the commercial value of public attention

Brad Millington, Associate Professor of Sport Management at Brock University, and Brian Wilson, Professor of Kinesiology at University of British Columbia, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about the attention and controversy surrounding the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

They write:

“The LIV Golf Invitational Series held its first event recently at Centurion Club in St. Albans, England.

LIV is a challenger to established tours in men’s golf — most notably the PGA Tour. Golfers have seemingly been lured to LIV by exorbitant paydays. LIV prize purses are lucrative. So too is the money reportedly paid to top golfers to choose LIV competitions over other tour options (approximately $125 million for Dustin Johnson and $200 million for Phil Mickelson).

As social scientists who study golf, media and politics, we are interested in LIV as a case study of the “attention economy” in sport.

The pursuit of attention helps explain LIV’s efforts at carving out space in a competitive golf landscape. But LIV has also been controversial — most of all due to the financial backing LIV receives from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

What might be gained through an investment in the attention that LIV offers? What are the dynamics at work through such an investment? And what are the social and political implications?”

Continue reading the full article on The Conversation website.

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