SBJ/June 23-29, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Price moves to PGA of America

When Pete Bevacqua reviewed all of the PGA of America’s commercial pieces, what he didn’t see was one person who ultimately was in charge of it all.

Bevacqua, the PGA’s CEO, believes he has streamlined those aspects of the PGA’s business by hiring Jeff Price, the former Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and MasterCard executive, to be chief commercial officer.

Jeff Price, most recently of Sporting News,  becomes the PGA’s chief commercial officer.
Photo by: GORT PRODUCTIONS

All of the PGA’s media, both broadcast and digital, marketing, sponsorship, merchandising, communications and international ventures will flow up to Price, who will report to Bevacqua and work from PGA headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Price’s first day will be Aug. 1.

Along with the addition of Price, the PGA’s chief marketer, Kevin Ring, will add the responsibilities of partnership management and sales.

This latest round of assignments closes the gaps created by the departure in April of Kevin Carter, who formerly was the chief business officer and led the sales efforts.

The PGA’s patron partners include Mercedes-Benz, Omega and Samsung. National Car Rental is an official partner, and Standard Life Investments is a global partner of the Ryder Cup. KPMG also recently signed on as title sponsor of the new Women’s PGA Championship, a joint effort between the PGA and LPGA.

“Jeff has the broad experience we were looking for to handle all of the different elements, and to make those areas as successful as possible,” Bevacqua said. “Jeff has a love of the game and the professional experience, especially in golf, to really stand out.”

Bevacqua said he hired Connecticut-based RSR Partners to assist with the search.

Price, who recently oversaw the transformation of Sporting News from a print product to a multiplatform digital sports video company, said he’s known Bevacqua from golf and sponsorship circles for close to 10 years. Price had begun his own company after parting with Sporting News last year when the PGA job became available.

“Pete has really established himself as an innovative leader, and I love what he’s done in almost two years at the PGA,” Price said. “We recently reconnected and began talking about the commercial potential of the PGA, and that led to this new role. When you think about a lot of the PGA’s possibilities, especially digital and mobile, the golf space is still very much wide open.”

Ring opened the PGA’s first office in New York a year ago. He will report to Price.

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