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

Final week, the primary shot was fired in what could possibly 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 collection – 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 motive why I do not depart Formulation 1 as any affordable group Do if a missile strike occurred inside 10 miles of an lively coaching session just a few months in the past.

The PGA has determined to take motion by banning plenty of 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 Outdoors of sure disciplines he’s routinely granted entry on account of his achievements. In racing phrases, that is mainly Kevin Harvick Banned from competing in NASCAR.

It is vital for main collection racing followers to concentrate to what precisely is going on 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 fashionable period. The reality is, the race solely befell in the course of the extraordinarily bitter and divisive cut 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 recuperate from.

Sports activities wars in historical past are often temporary, 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 recreation. Participant salaries thrived on the enterprise degree, particularly amongst faculty athletes turned professional, in each the NFL and the AFL and when the primary USFL got here into existence.

Nevertheless, most fights finish with the brand new league folding on account of cash hemorrhaging – see AAFC within the late Forties and the whole lot with spring soccer up to now 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 unattainable to think about them making a revenue with a few of the sums being paid to gamers.

For example, hypothetically, a wealthy man determined to start out an precise inventory automotive collection to compete towards NASCAR. Wealthy sufficient to get near the collection like Vince McMahon did at the beginning 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 increasingly more 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 group on this hypothetical collection, 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 collection automotive, 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 needs to be famous that Kyle Bush He additionally talked about final yr that he was going to compete in SRX earlier than he was “Go away it out”but it surely’s additionally unclear whether or not it is by NASCAR (unlikely) or by Toyota/JGR (seemingly).

Unbiased Contractor Standing

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

The overall consensus I acquired is that drivers are thought of impartial contractors TypicallyAnd they’re Typically Answerable for their well being and retirement insurance coverage. There are virtually actually exceptions to the rule as you go up the ladder, however on the finish of the day it would not actually matter what degree the cup is.

The truth is, 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 workers who’re categorized as impartial contractors. And there is controversy on each 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 specific group.

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 reality is, these drivers are greater than prepared to be true impartial contractors who do not want approval to blow their noses like a variety of trophy drivers do – see when Ben RhodesToyota driver, served as a Chevrolet driver AJ Almendir Just a few weeks in the past.

Media rights settlement standing

Washington Submit Posted a really attention-grabbing article final week This particulars what main golf broadcasters – primarily NBC and CBS – can do beneath 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 principle, if the PGA Tour continues to lose worth and the networks can stroll out of these contracts, that might instantly release 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 proceed it doesn’t matter what occurs in the course of the “Golf Warfare” simply because Disney is a large firm that makes sufficient cash to bid on something.

However instantly, if the PGA Tour comes out on the finish of this yr in an admittedly unlikely situation, securing NASCAR may be a extra precedence for NBC. Placing these races on the US grid could be a variety of enjoyable in the event that they ended up shedding to ESPN on the bargaining desk, as a result of if these races had been to vanish, the USA would have virtually no viewers on weekends after two years of being within the prime 5 each Sunday in summer time 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 ranking is available in from Pensacola on Tuesday morning and the collection progresses over the following month. However there’s at all times been a hypothetical state of affairs the place SRX finally ends up shutting down on account of lack of funding, however CBS likes sufficient rankings to the place they get a TNT-style NASCAR schedule summer time reduce to basically change SRX.

There are a variety of questions on this, and the reality is that any resolution concerning the PGA reduce will seemingly come after the announcement of NASCAR’s media offers, that are anticipated to be round this time subsequent yr.

It is 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 observe it and study from it. I hope that fairly just a few huge gamers within the racing trade might be watching how this story unfolds within the coming months.

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