Why The LIV Golf Vs. PGA Tour War Matters to NASCAR, Racing

Final week, the primary shot was fired in what may very well be a protracted and drawn-out battle between the brand new Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf group and the venerable PGA Tour.

The primary LIV Golf occasion didn’t appeal to massive numbers of spectators. However that is not the purpose of the sequence – that is paying golfers some huge cash to make headlines and divert consideration from the Saudi authorities’s human rights abuses. It is the identical purpose why I do not depart Formulation 1 as any cheap group Do if a missile strike occurred inside 10 miles of an energetic coaching session a couple of months in the past.

The PGA has determined to take motion by banning quite a few golfers who’ve agreed to take cash and play for LIV. Phil Mickelson, as an instance, He is aware of the sport being performed and is a really prepared participant in itwas banned from competing for the PGA Exterior of sure disciplines he’s robotically granted entry as a result of his achievements. In racing phrases, that is principally Kevin Harvick Banned from competing in NASCAR.

It is necessary for main sequence racing followers to concentrate to what precisely is occurring right here on these two rounds of golf, as a result of there are three very other ways motorsports can change as a direct results of what’s taking place right here:


Maybe the obvious approach, this battle will present a have a look at what precise sports activities warfare is like within the trendy period. The reality is, the race solely befell through the extraordinarily bitter and divisive break up of the Open Wheel, a struggle that led to NASCAR establishing itself because the undisputed king of American racing for many years afterward. It is a battle that IndyCar, after 15 years of merger, is beginning to get better from.

Sports activities wars in historical past are often transient, with the brand new aspect maybe not seeing the pitch at occasions. Clearly essentially the most profitable was the NFL vs. AFL, the place after 9 years, the AFL champion has already managed to beat the NFL champion within the soccer sport. Participant salaries thrived on the enterprise stage, particularly amongst school athletes turned professional, in each the NFL and the AFL and when the primary USFL got here into existence.

Nonetheless, most fights finish with the brand new league folding as a result of cash hemorrhaging – see AAFC within the late Forties and every thing with spring soccer previously a number of years. The FA submitted the matter to the Supreme Court docket, the place SCOTUS had already dominated that Main League Baseball was a authorized monopoly. That is what makes the LIV deal distinctive – Invitation loses an insane sum of money by design and it will be extraordinarily inconceivable to think about them making a revenue with among the sums being paid to gamers.

As an example, hypothetically, a wealthy man determined to begin an precise inventory automobile sequence to compete in opposition to NASCAR. Wealthy sufficient to get near the sequence like Vince McMahon did firstly with the second iteration of the XFL, which put aside as a lot as $375 million in losses earlier than benefiting from a brand new media rights settlement. Because the battle continues, will we see an increasing number of groups and drivers selecting a aspect? There are nonetheless golfers who resolve to maneuver to LIV. If, for instance, Hendrick Motorsports determined to incorporate a workforce on this hypothetical sequence, would NASCAR resolve to threaten them with a ban?

It sounds loopy, however this has occurred many occasions earlier than, albeit within the early days of NASCAR. “Huge” Invoice France was routinely stripping all championship factors from any driver who dared race for a aggressive sequence automobile, badly resulting in Invoice Rexford being declared the 1950 Grand Nationwide Collection Champion over Lee Petty, who was stripped of two separate factors within the season. .

final yr, Chase Elliot point out it I acquired permission To make one cameo at SRX by NASCAR President Steve Phelps. It is unclear if this was NASCAR coverage or if Elliott was simply making an attempt to be good; It ought to be famous that Kyle Bush He additionally talked about final yr that he was going to compete in SRX earlier than he was “Depart it out”but it surely’s additionally unclear whether or not it is by NASCAR (unlikely) or by Toyota/JGR (possible).

Unbiased Contractor Standing

PGA golfers are unbiased contractors, and PGA shuts down these golfers as a result of they signed up with somebody they did not like who It is nearly sure to result in a authorized battle of some type. If the end result of that battle goes come what may, there may very well be dire penalties on one finish of the storage.

The overall consensus I acquired is that drivers are thought-about unbiased contractors UsuallyAnd they’re Usually Accountable for their well being and retirement insurance coverage. There are nearly actually exceptions to the rule as you go up the ladder, however on the finish of the day it does not actually matter what stage the cup is.

In actual fact, in the event that they wanted to, the massive trophy groups would have the cash to pay if there was a considerably unlikely authorities crackdown on staff who’re categorized as unbiased contractors. And there is controversy on either side of the coin in the case of NASCAR drivers, with drivers already agreeing to those contracts and that with 38 weekends booked a yr, there is not an entire lot of outdoor work a driver can do. It interferes with their work for a selected workforce.

The priority might lie extra with smaller groups within the NASCAR Xfinity Collection and NASCAR Tenting World Truck, together with the IndyCar groups. However the fact is, these drivers are greater than prepared to be true unbiased contractors who do not want approval to blow their noses like loads of trophy drivers do – see when Ben RhodesToyota driver, served as a Chevrolet driver AJ Almendir A couple of weeks in the past.

Media rights settlement standing

Washington Publish Posted a really fascinating article final week This particulars what main golf broadcasters – primarily NBC and CBS – can do below the situation the place LIV steals a lot expertise from the PGA that the principle occasions of the tour start to lack huge names and fall under aggressive requirements.

It’s estimated that the PGA Tour rights charge is estimated at $700 million yearly, Between NBC, CBS, and ESPN. In concept, if the PGA Tour continues to lose worth and the networks can stroll out of these contracts, that may all of a sudden unlock a major chunk of change and airtime if any of them resolve to pursue NASCAR.

John Orland, media reporter at Sports activities Enterprise JournalAnd the Final yr predicted that FOX would renew their NASCAR contract whereas ESPN would take over the NBC portion of the season. This will likely proceed it doesn’t matter what occurs through the “Golf Warfare” simply because Disney is a big firm that makes sufficient cash to bid on something.

However all of a sudden, if the PGA Tour comes out on the finish of this yr in an admittedly unlikely situation, securing NASCAR could be a extra precedence for NBC. Placing these races on the US grid can be loads of enjoyable in the event that they ended up dropping to ESPN on the bargaining desk, as a result of if these races have been to vanish, the USA would have nearly no viewers on weekends after two years of being within the prime 5 each Sunday in summer season and autumn.

CBS is in such an odd state of affairs, the reality is that nobody will know what they consider motorsports till Saturday night time’s SRX score is available in from Pensacola on Tuesday morning and the sequence progresses over the subsequent month. However there’s all the time been a hypothetical state of affairs the place SRX finally ends up shutting down as a result of lack of funding, however CBS likes sufficient scores to the place they get a TNT-style NASCAR schedule summer season lower to primarily substitute SRX.

There are loads of questions on this, and the reality is that any choice relating to the PGA lower will possible come after the announcement of NASCAR’s media offers, that are anticipated to be round this time subsequent yr.

This can be a distinctive state of affairs that we have by no means seen a serious sports activities group in America resist a brand new competitor that is not afraid to shell out billions of {dollars}, and is not making a revenue within the course of. Crucial factor when pursuing one of these story, even when the subject has no worth to you, is to look at it and be taught from it. I hope that fairly a couple of huge gamers within the racing business can be watching how this story unfolds within the coming months.

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