For Immediate Release February 1, 2022
WGA launches program to incent players for their popularity, fan engagement
The "Player Popularity Initiative" (PPI) will reward social interactions to grow the game of golf
LAS VEGAS. Inspired by the always-progressive, genius creativeness of the PGA Tour, the Western Golf Alliance today launched a new Player Popularity Initiative, or PPI, to reward the most popular and engaging members during the WGA golf season. The announcement was made from the Bellagio Resort and Casino during the organization's annual Board of Director's meeting.
"As the premier golf organization in the western US, we have a responsibility to join other organizations in growing the game of golf, and this includes developing fan interest and excitement about things that aren't, you know, golf," said Peter McGarry, WGA president. "We saw that the PGA Tour recognized the need to diversify their audience by no longer focusing on great golf, played by great golfers, at great golf venues, and instead create the largest payout pool of the year based on something that has nothing to do with sports or skill at all. We felt this was something we needed to do as well."
At the core of the PPI will be a financial payout to the top 10 ranked WGA players. While the amount has not been finalized, it will likely be the equivalent of 40 times the normal payout for an actual WGA golf tournament win.
Exactly like the PGA Tour's Player Impact Program, playing ability, tournament success, or any other measure having to do with golf will absolutely not be used in any way to determine a player's value. Instead, more valuable criteria - like people viewing viral videos of eye rolling about other players during interviews, or retweeting photos with snarky captions about the proper definition of a "six pack" - will dominate these golf rankings.
The PPI will use computer algorithms to "calibrate the value of the engagement a player drives across social and digital channels and the frequency with which a player generates coverage across a range of media platforms". This in turn will feed into a popularity index, to create a ranking of WGA players. While the actual math behind the algorithms will not be disclosed, it does source data from Google search, Nielsen Brand Exposure ratings, and the MVP Index and Meltwater Mentions algorithms used to measure social media impact.
Any WGA member caught actually dancing on TikTok will be immediately disqualified from the PPI program.
"One thing I want to be clear about, our decision to launch PPI this year had nothing to do with any of our members considering offers to join the Saudi Arabian Premier Golf League," clarified McGarry. "We all understand our commitment to both the game of golf and the ethical principles of modern society. Creating a cash grab opportunity for golfers that has nothing whatsoever to do with golf is absolutely in line with those principles."
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About the Western Golf Alliance: The Western Golf Alliance is the premier golf organization in the United States. The WGA exists to further the greatness of this grand sport of golf through the improvement of golf play by its members, the promotion of golf rules, etiquette, and tradition, and the ability to gather together from time to time for golf events and tournaments. The regional organization spans five western states, and is organized into nine geographic regions. Further information is available at http://www.westerngolf.org/.