(Photo: flickr.com/Ric Lander)
Trump’s little "birdie"s want the PGA to stay with the bald-"eagle"s
Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is fuming. The real-estate mogul turned politician is also a golf resort developer who owns 18 separate courses across the world with a burgeoning golfing empire branded under the name(surprise, surprise) Trump. Now Mr. Trump became upset (at least, more than usual) when the PGA tour announced on Wednesday that it would leave the Trump Doral course in Miami in favor of a course set in Mexico City to host the annual WGC tournament. Cue el drama.
It’s no secret that Mr. Trump had fingered Mexico as an undermining factor to the security and economy of the US. Amidst a campaign describable as a ‘litany of threats’, perhaps Trump has unintentionally built a “wall” around his golfing business’s interests. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem explained that the move, which changes the event’s venue to Mexico from Florida, where it has been held for the past 55 years, was “fundamentally a sponsorship issue.” Cadillac has reportedly not renewed its sponsorship deal with the Trump golfing brand.
The beauty of me is, I got a mean backswing/Image: Flickr
Finchem stresses that the move was not political in nature. “From a golf standpoint we have no issues with Donald Trump. From a political standpoint we are neutral. The PGA tour has never been involved or cares to be involved in presidential politics,” he added. Unfortunately for the Republican front runner, though the Trump brand is huge, it can’t host an entire PGA tournament on its own. More importantly, it has been proven difficult to find a corporate sponsor willing to share its brand name with another that is synonymous to the phrase, “build a wall.” Last I checked, racism and corporate identity aren't all that cohesive together.
The PGA Tour has signed a new seven-year sponsorship deal with Grupo Salinas, who has orchestrated the move of the championship to the Club de Golf Chapultapec outside Mexico City. Trump turned the decision of the international sporting committee into, you guessed it, a personal and highly political stomp-fest. He continued the Mexico-narrative by saying “the PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and charities and the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of fans who make the tournament an annual tradition.” He added, “This decision only further embodies the very reason I am running for president of the United States.” Considering that US viewership accounts for less than 20% of the PGA’s total fandom, Mr.Trump’s statements seem like a SLIGHT over-exaggeration.
Trump's NOT-PGA Doral golf course. OUCH/Image: Flickr
Trump’s unreserved anger is actually quite reasonable given that the news surfaced on the same day that he announced that he would put a rain-check on his campaign this month in order to travel to Scotland for the reopening of the Turnberry golf resort, which he bought in 2014. Plus, he had only just recently deployed $250 million to renovate the Blue Monster course in the now 'not-PGA' Trump Doral course. To own something, only to lose an internationally-recognized title it once held after a multi-million dollar investment would not sit well with anyone. Especially not with Mr.Trump.
So was a mildly officious expression of disapproval all that he mustered against the PGA? Of course not. Trump told Fox News, “I hope they have kidnapping insurance”. How sweet, he’s worried for the safety of professional golfers that will visit Mexico. And we still wonder why the media can’t get enough of this man. But Mr.Trump? Take it from Beyonce, If you liked it ya-SHOUDN’T’A put a wall around it.