There’s a new sheriff in town. The LPGA has named Michael Whan as their new commissioner at a news conference at Madison Square Garden in New York on Wednesday. Whan is a former marketing executive with many years of experience building relationships, and companies. Whan was most recently employed as president of Mission-Itech Hockey, and has also held positions with Taylor Made Golf, Wilson Sporting Goods and even Proctor & Gamble.
His focus as the new commissioner will be to rebuild the relationships with sponsors and fans that were torn down under Carolyn Biven’s failed leadership. The LPGA Tour has lost 6 events since last year, and will play no events in Hawaii for the first time in many years. Despite the challenges facing the tour in it’s 60th year of operation, Whan was upbeat: “If that’s a downturn year, then this brand’s more resilient and strong than I even thought coming in, and I was pretty confident going in,” Whan told the Associated Press. “The LPGA is just fine.”
We’ll see Mr. Whan. I certainly hope so, for the player’s and fans’ sake. With less than a dozen LPGA Tour events scheduled for the United States in 2010 and the American star power being challenged by international players coming up fast from Korea and other countries, there are still many challenges remaining for Michael Whan and his team to handle. Stay tuned in 2010!