NEW YORK: The LIV Golf Invitational Series has hired Fleischer Communications as a communications consultant.
The agency started work in February and is assisting on everything under “the comms consulting umbrella,” said Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary and president at Fleischer Communications.
Fleischer said that “almost all” of his work is on a retainer-basis but declined to get into the length of specific contracts.
“[LIV Golf] is seeking to bring change to the sport, which not everybody wants,” Fleischer told PRWeek. “On the other hand, it’s one of the best opportunities for players and an opportunity for fans to see golf in a different, more entertaining light.”
On Tuesday, LIV Golf hosted press conferences ahead of its inaugural tournament at the Centurion Club outside London.
“[The conferences] were incredibly accessible, open, and reporters got what they wanted, which was access to the players,” said Fleischer, who helped moderate the opening news conferences.
The second round of press conferences, which took place on Wednesday, featured more awkwardness. According to Sports Illustrated, one media member asked Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood whether or not they would participate in a Vladimir Putin-backed tournament, alluding to LIV’s controversial ties to Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. Both golfers refused to answer the question.
On Thursday, commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to the PGA Tour’s membership announcing suspensions for all players involved in the LIV Golf event, according to a company statement. The suspensions include the Presidents Cup, as well as the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamérica.
Monahan cited the players’ participation in the Saudi-backed golf league as a violation of PGA’s tournament regulations and promised future suspensions for the players who follow suit.