Not too long ago I used the LPGA’s media site to request media credentials for an upcoming LPGA event in New Jersey. The media credentials (for those of you who may not be familiar) would simply give me the the opportunity to properly cover the event, do some interviews with players, event coordinators, take some pictures, etc. I had done some basic coverage of the HSBC Women’s World Match Play event last year as it was held at a course down the street. Unfortunately that event has been moved to New York, and I figured, hey, let’s see if we can get down to the ShopRite event this year. So I filled out their little application form, seemed pretty simple. Who are you? Who do you work for? When do you need credentials? Who do you want to talk to? Ok, great, we’ll let you know in a week.
I’m thinking great, now I’ll have a chance to ask a few players some questions, perhaps get some inside information on the event. Put together a little series of event related coverage. But alas, I get this response:
Thank you for your interest in covering the 2007 Sybase Classic Presented by ShopRite. However, after reviewing your application, we are unable to issue media credentials for this event. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Hmm…why? It costs $15 to goto the event (if you ever shop at ShopRite), I probably would go for one, perhaps two days. Ok, so the event may be losing $30 in ticket sales. But wouldn’t some positive publicity for a tour that isn’t exactly the most popular in the country be worth more than $30? I can understand not wanting to hand out credentials to organizations who may shine negative light on your business. I’m just not sure why you wouldn’t want to foster ‘grass roots’ coverage of your events by the blogger community. It’s not like someone blogging the event would go there and then say it was an awful experience. “Oh my god, Michelle Wie spit in my eye, I am never going to another LPGA event!” — end sarcasm.
So I wrote back and asked for a reason. What was involved in the process? Why was my application rejected? Apparently the tournament ‘PR’ is managed by an externally contracted firm, Octagon, and here is the response from the PR Manager:
…The LPGA reviews and processes all media credential requests. I received an email stating that it is against their policy to provide credentials to blogs and therefore they would be denying the request…
Very disappointing. I was really hoping to expand upon the type of coverage I did last year at the HSBC Women’s World Match Play event. I would have thought nothing but good would have come out of the experience for both the LPGA and The Deep Rough.
Have any of you requested media credentials to an LPGA event? Who knows, perhaps the Nationwide Tour would be more receptive to the idea of Blogger event coverage?