Leading Sponsor Slams Greedy Management Companies.

Giles Morgan is one of more influencial individuals in the world acting as he does as Head of Global Sponsorship for HSBC.

Morgan has worked tirelessly in recent years attracting the world’s best golfers to compete under the HSBC sponsorship umbrella.

However Morgan has used the annual KPMG Golf Business Forum  to express his frustration at unregulated players’ agents demanding ‘unsustainable’ fees for their clients.

HSBC’s Giles Morgan critical of management companies.

Morgan says management companies are demanding unrealistic fees, when the bank – which has spent more than $300million on golf sponsorship in 10 years, including the WGC HSBC Champions Event in China – has already put up the prize fund.

“At the Ryder Cup we will see tournament professionals playing for free, doing lots of man hugs and high fives and getting right into it – and we, the public, love it,” he said.

“But in the men’s professional game I think this sportsmanship and spirit is eroding. There are unregulated agents and players’ managers who are now asking for enormous fees for golfers to play in tournaments and sell their wares.

“The recession is not something agents are used to.

“What some of these agents are doing, not all, and they are not regulated, which is critical is going back to a trough where they think the money is, and that means the tournament sponsor.

“As a title sponsor you pay for the prize fund, which is what the players win.

“When you are then asked to pay additionally, it feels like there is a biting of the hand that feeds – and I do not believe this is sustainable for the game of golf.”

According to Giles Morgan, 32% of golf sponsorship comes from the financial services sector and that unlike some sports, golf is sponsor driven.

“Professional golf, like any sport, is the fuel and oxygen for growth, and nowhere has this been better seen than in China where, when we introduced the HSBC Champions event in 2005, we just needed to bring one golfer, Tiger Woods, along with 77 others,” added Morgan.

“The publicity went bananas – he was the world’s greatest golfer and the crowds followed, and the tournament was a success.

“The professional game has a massive responsibility for the whole game – it is the showcase and the catalyst.

“Golf doesn’t have a divine right to succeed – it has to innovate, move forward, making its products become entirely attractive to outward investment.”

Mr Morgan concluded: “There is a storm coming and I beg the game of golf to discuss and consider.”


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