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 an extended 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 giant 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 purpose why I do not depart System 1 as any affordable group Do if a missile strike occurred inside 10 miles of an energetic 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 keen participant in itwas banned from competing for the PGA Exterior of sure disciplines he’s mechanically granted entry attributable to his achievements. In racing phrases, that is principally Kevin Harvick Banned from competing in NASCAR.

It is vital for main collection 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 occurring right here:


Maybe the obvious approach, this combat will present a have a look at what precise sports activities warfare is like within the trendy period. The reality is, the race solely came about throughout the extraordinarily bitter and divisive cut up of the Open Wheel, a conflict 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 temporary, with the brand new facet 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.

Nevertheless, most fights finish with the brand new league folding attributable to cash hemorrhaging – see AAFC within the late Nineteen Forties and every thing with spring soccer up to now a number of years. The FA submitted the matter to the Supreme Courtroom, 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 amount of cash by design and it might be extraordinarily unimaginable to think about them making a revenue with among the sums being paid to gamers.

For instance, 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 facet? There are nonetheless golfers who resolve to maneuver to LIV. If, for instance, Hendrick Motorsports determined to incorporate a workforce 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. “Large” 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 12 months, Chase Elliot point out it I obtained 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 attempting to be good; It needs to be famous that Kyle Bush He additionally talked about final 12 months that he was going to compete in SRX earlier than he was “Depart it out”however it’s additionally unclear whether or not it is by NASCAR (unlikely) or by Toyota/JGR (probably).

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 result of that combat goes by some means, there may very well be dire penalties on one finish of the storage.

The overall consensus I obtained is that drivers are thought of impartial contractors UsuallyAnd they’re Usually 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 stage 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 12 months, there is not an entire lot of outdoor work a driver can do. It interferes with their work for a specific 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 keen 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 A couple of weeks in the past.

Media rights settlement standing

Washington Put up Posted a really fascinating 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 large names and fall beneath aggressive requirements.

It’s estimated that the PGA Tour rights payment 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 will immediately release a big chunk of change and airtime if any of them resolve to pursue NASCAR.

John Orland, media reporter at Sports activities Enterprise JournalAnd the Final 12 months predicted that FOX would renew their NASCAR contract whereas ESPN would take over the NBC portion of the season. This may increasingly proceed it doesn’t matter what occurs throughout the “Golf Conflict” simply because Disney is a big firm that makes sufficient cash to bid on something.

However immediately, if the PGA Tour comes out on the finish of this 12 months 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 dropping to ESPN on the bargaining desk, as a result of if these races have been to vanish, the USA would have virtually no viewers on weekends after two years of being within the high 5 each Sunday in summer season and autumn.

CBS is in such an odd scenario, 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 collection progresses over the following month. However there’s all the time been a hypothetical scenario the place SRX finally ends up shutting down attributable to lack of funding, however CBS likes sufficient rankings to the place they get a TNT-style NASCAR schedule summer season lower to basically substitute SRX.

There are a variety of questions on this, and the reality is that any choice concerning the PGA lower will probably come after the announcement of NASCAR’s media offers, that are anticipated to be round this time subsequent 12 months.

It is a distinctive scenario that we have by no means seen a significant sports activities group in America withstand 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 large gamers within the racing trade will likely be watching how this story unfolds within the coming months.

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