The Athletic COO Adam Hansmann said the publication will "never say never" to putting advertisements on the website. But he added that doing so is "not currently up for consideration." A spokesperson for The Athletic said that the publication is "exploring ways to diversify, including new media platforms, such as podcasts and video, and holding events." Hansmann: “We’ve built our business today on the fact that the user experience is sacred. To interrupt that experience with ads or third-party content of some kind would effectively violate the trust that we have with our customers, and we don’t have any intention of doing that.” ADWEEK's Sara Jerde noted an "annual subscription to The Athletic costs about $50," and about 90% of subscribers "renew each year" (ADWEEK, 5/14 issue).
MOVING FORWARD: In Virginia, David Teel noted the LPGA event at Kingsmill Resort is "capping a protracted search for a title sponsor," and never has that search "seemed this promising." Ticket sales for this week's event "are up," and tomorrow's pro-am is "sold out for the first time in a decade." Kingsmill VP/Golf & Sports Wayne Nooe said, “The potential of having a title sponsor is really good, because I think people will see the excitement that’s building locally. We’re pretty bullish right now that we’ve got a good thing going." A presenting sponsor "doesn’t approach relieving Kingsmill of tournament expenses" such as the $1.3M purse, which is among the LPGA’s "lowest." A title sponsor "would erase those obligations." Kingsmill COO John Hilker said of finding a title sponsor, “Once that happens, this becomes less of an investment from our perspective and the LPGA’s perspective and becomes something that actually creates dollars that we can utilize … to give back to local charities” (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 5/13).