Tiger Woods and former NFL player Peyton Manning celebrate victory over Phil Mickelson and NFL player Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 18th green during the game: Champions For Charity at Medalist Golf Club on May 24, 2020 in Hobe Sound, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images
In preparation for The Match 3 later this month, executive producer Bryan Zuriff predicts a bright future for the celebrity golf getaway. If all goes well, it could lead to a bidding war on the network.
Zuriff, the Co-creator of the celebrity golf tournament The Matchsaid the third part promises more entertainment, more celebrity call-ins, and more golf cart banter, although it will be the first event without Tiger Woods.
“We may lose the greatest golf of all time to perhaps the worst of all time,” said Zuriff, who is also a Hollywood producer best known for his work on Ray Donovan series from Showtime.
Match 3 takes place on November 27th and features PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson, former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, and NBA icons Steph Curry and Charles Barkley.
Match 2 achieved the highest golf ratings in cable history (An average of 5.8 million viewers) and raised $ 20 million for Covid-19 aid. But Zuriff said Woods’ private nature “does not suit what becomes of it.”
“I think it’s more than just golf,” he said, “and Tiger is the greatest golfer of all time. But to spend three hours with these guys in the golf carts where they should open up, you don’t get that with Tiger . ” . “
Match 3 is broadcast on WarnerMedia’s TNT network and raises money for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Sports game company DraftKings will be the betting partner of the event. The company told CNBC that betting has so far favored the Curry and Manning team against Barkley and Mickelson. DraftKings plans to expand its offerings in the next few days to get more information about the event.
Zuriff warned Curry is an underrated golfer and expects to make the Match 3 competitive.
“He’s just below the pro level,” Zuriff said of Curry. “He’s preparing to win because he takes his golf seriously. And the fact of hitting a professional [Mickelson] is a great challenge for him. “
US basketball player Charles Barkley arrives for the 2019 NBA Awards at the Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Lisa O’Connor | AFP | Getty Images
In his interview with CNBC, Zuriff did not discuss the cost of the third game, but instead stated, “Our advertising dollars are higher than our costs.”
Zuriff said the advertising revenue for Match 2 is “massive because we are delivering four great athletes to an event with a real element of drama”.
Here, Zuriff wants to build on the event every year. He said The Match would generate interest in Black Friday, what he called a “dead day in sports”.
Outside of college football games, the four major professional sports leagues have been eliminated this year. In a typical year, NBA and NHL games are usually played on Black Friday, but with Covid-19 impacting schedules, Todd Krizelman, CEO of MediaRadar said the match is a great investment for advertisers looking to post Look for eyeballs.
“It’s a unique event with top talent,” Krizelman said via email. “This is a special event that airs on TNT that broadcasts NBA and MLB games, both of which are off-season. In the absence of other programming, this means TNT is aggressively marketing the exclusive to its audience.”
Before the pandemic, Thanksgiving was roughly $ 23 million on Black Friday, according to the advertising firm. The company also estimated The Match 2 attracted 65 brands, resulting in approximately $ 5.8 million in spending on four WarnerMedia networks (HLN, TBS, TNT, TruTV) in May.
Longstanding marketing manager Tony Ponturo said the “entertainment value” of the event should also attract advertising dollars with more personable characters like Curry and Barkley.
“There is interest there,” said Ponturo, who was vice president of global media sports and entertainment marketing at Anheuser-Busch for 17 years. “When Mickelson and Tiger played, people were looking for more jokes and more fun.”
When asked about the match, which takes place every year after Thanksgiving, Ponturo said it would mimic it the historical skins game. Last played in 2009, the game combined four PGA Tour golfers battling it out for holes equal to the prize pool.
“It was fun to play golf and it was different,” said Ponturo of Skins Game.
The first episode of The Match in November 2018 between Woods and Mickelson was for $ 9 million and received positive viewership, despite the fact that it did branded as a pay-per-view event.
“I think there is a place for this with the right people,” added Ponturo. “It might run out after five or six of them, but at least something is there for now.”
Patrick Mahomes # 15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after beating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on February 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Andy Lyons | Getty Images
Zuriff teased Woods’ return would spark more interest in the future but saw a preview of a match between Brady and Patrick Mahomes in the near future.
“There’s a version of it where he might team up with Justin Thomas and possibly go up against Phil and Tom Brady,” Zuriff said.
According to Zuriff, who did not reveal details of the pact, the game is agreed with Turner from year to year. If it continues to gain popularity and solid reviews, it could generate interest among other networks. Zuriff didn’t rule out a future bidding war, but said the match was better suited to Turner’s advertising and presentation style and predicted a long partnership.
Zuriff also has a good relationship with the chairman of WarnerMedia Jeff Sugar and Turner Sports President Lenny Daniels. And of course they have Barkley, whom Zuriff again praised for making the second game a success.
“It’s not about golf, it’s about personality,” said Zuriff. “And that’s what I hope it turns out to be.”