It’s not often that I write anything about the business side of producing Golf Oklahoma, including the website (www.golfoklahoma.org), the weekly newsletters, the print magazine and the radio show. But thought you might like to know a little of what’s going on with our industry and this great game we all love as we head into 2018.
Spent an interesting and somewhat cautionary three days recently with golf media from across the country at Bill Huffman’s annual media classic, this one based out of the Wigwam Resort west of Phoenix.
Suffice it to say that golf and sports publications are seeing challenging days, just like the newspaper and magazine businesses. I played a round with a long-time Sports Illustrated writer. The magazine, at one time the unquestioned king of sports journalism, will likely publish its print magazine fewer than 30 times in 2018. I asked him if online advertising has taken up the slack for the decline in print, and his answer was chilling.
Not unless you are Facebook or Google, which are now claiming up to 80 percent of the ad revenue which used to be spread among various print publications, both newspapers and magazines.
The problem, of course, is that neither Facebook nor Google, despite their massive reach, are content providers. In our case, Facebook is not going to be covering the OGA, WOGA, PGA Section, high school and college events this spring and summer. Google won’t be at Karsten Creek in Stillwater when the women’s and men’s Division I championships are decided in May or at the Big 12 Championship at Southern Hills in April. It won’t be writing about the improvements at your local course, great area destinations or profiling the tremendous golfers we have at all levels here in Oklahoma.
We are very grateful to the many amazing partners we have which have allowed us to publish a golf magazine for more than 25 years now. It’s been a very rewarding career in many ways, not only allowing me to continue as a journalist, which was my background and passion, but also to learn so much about the business side of which I was blissfully ignorant when we began. I’m sure there are many small business owners out there who can relate that no matter what aspect of the job you would rather spend your time on, you better make sure that when pay day hits, those who are depending on you, both in your company and your family, are never let down.
Along with the challenges, there are amazing opportunities today. Golf Oklahoma’s reach with Oklahoma golfers far exceeds the past. Between the print readers, the website, our 38,000 subscribers to our newsletter, and yes, our strong followings on Facebook and Twitter, thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, more golfers are likely to read any story than they were in the days of print only.
So we’re very excited about continuing to grow and improve and find ways to bring our readers more and better content each year and to better promote our partners to that expanding readership. We are blessed to have the continued support of so many great businesses and we are always open to new partners who believe in our mission to be the nation’s best regional golf publication, including print, web and social media. Just drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at 918-280-0787.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
– Ken MacLeod, Publisher