SBJ/Feb. 24-March 2, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Plugged In: Jim Nugent, Global Golf Post

Jim Nugent has lived and breathed golf, from the time he caddied at Chicago’s Sunset Ridge Country Club as a youth through more than 25 years in golf media, most of those coming as a Golfweek publisher. In 2008 — “As the world was falling apart,” he said — Nugent came up with the idea for a digital golf magazine capable of serving readers worldwide. The Georgetown and Northwestern MBA grad spent the following year raising private capital. He ultimately launched the e-magazine Global Golf Post in January 2010, taking the concept of international golf coverage in a completely new delivery direction. He now carries the titles of founder and publisher.


Digital magazines, when done right, create a ‘lean forward’ experience. Readers can watch video and click to visit other places on the Web for a more immersive experience.


Photo by: JAMES HOBART / MACBETH PHOTOGRAPHY
About digital magazines:
The emergence of the golf digital magazine category is the most exciting and most important development in golf media since the launch of Golf Channel in 1995. When we created the category, we knew that if we were successful, we would not be alone for very long. Four years later, that day has come.

About readership: Global Golf Post is distributed to 700,000 golfers in North America and another 400,000-plus in the U.K. Our readers spend, on average, more than 15 minutes with the issue each week.

The benefits: Serious golfers no longer have to wait a week or more for a print magazine to arrive in their mailbox to provide a summary of the week in competitive golf. The Post is delivered 12 hours after the final putt drops on the PGA Tour. Speed is critical in news delivery in the digital age.

Which golfers generate the most interest?: Tiger [Woods] still moves the needle as far as readership, as does Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson. But here’s a surprise name: Jordan Spieth. When we feature him in any way, readers respond.

Who should we be watching among non-players?: We are in the final years of Tim Finchem’s amazing run as commissioner of the PGA Tour. He has served his membership exceedingly well. The succession process will be fascinating. Will it be an insider, or someone from outside the tour? Big shoes to fill, either way. … Keep an eye on the USGA tandem of new President Tom O’Toole and Executive Director Mike Davis. They know the challenges the game faces, and they are being honest about them. Look for a more relevant USGA in the years to come. … Mike Whan and Jon Podany don’t get enough credit for what they have done to engineer a turnaround at the LPGA. Their work will be a case study at Harvard’s business school and every sports management program around the world.

— Michael Smith

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