One of the most exciting golf events on the schedule returns to Saudi Arabia over the weekend of November 9, as the Aramco Team Series reaches its final leg.
There is great excitement among all players involved, but few players will be as happy to return to the course as Pia Babnik, as the defending champion looks to land a second straight victory in the event. But, what should golf fans be aware of this weekend, and how does the competition work?
How Does The Aramco Team Series Work?
The Aramco Team Series has grown in popularity throughout its short history, which led to the 2021 season being expanded. Nowadays, there are events held across the globe, with competitions also taking place in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Spain. All events on the circuit boast a purse of $1 million, with the event in Saudi Arabia being the final event of the series.
It is an interesting concept for fans, as players compete in individual and team competitions. In total, there are 36 teams, with each consisting of three professionals and one amateur player. Drafts are used to form the teams, with the captains being the highest-seeded players in the rankings.
Previous Aramco Team Series Events This Season
The first Aramco Team Series of the season took place in Bangkok in May, with Manon De Roey claiming victory by three shots from Johanna Gustavsson. A team made up of Whitney Hillier, Chonlada Chayanun, Krista Bakker and Pattanan Amatanon won the team event in Thailand by three shots.
The action moved to London in the middle of June, with Bronte Law taking a home success after finishing one shot clear of compatriot Georgia Hall. Success in the team event was claimed by Nicole Garcia, Kelly Whaley, Madelene Stavnar, and Mia Baker, who won a playoff in England.
Spain took center stage in the Aramco Team Series in August, with one of the best players in the world taking her team to glory in Sotogrande. Jessica Korda was in fine form, as she led Noora Komulainen, Tereza Melecka, and Malcolm Borwock to a win by one shot. The individual event was also won by Kelly Korda, as she finished three shots clear.
The penultimate event on the Aramco Team Series schedule was staged in New York in the middle of October. There would be further American success, as Lexi Thompson finished three shots clear of Brooke Henderson and Madelene Sagstrom. Meanwhile, the team event was won by Johanna Gustavsson, Jessica Karlsson, Karolin Lampert, and Jennifer Rosenberg.
Golf Betting Information
Like all golf events, the Aramco Team Series is a huge betting event for golf fans and attracts many bettors from the Arabic regions. Some of the largest betting operators, including 888sport, 10Bet, and BetFinal even offer special campaigns to Saudi Arabian betters in Arabic. Betting markets are available on the outright winner of the event, as well as the leaders on each of the respective days that are competed. Meanwhile, bettors can also wager on whether a hole-in-one will be scored at the event this year.
Aramco Team Series Jeddah Information
The final leg of the Aramco Team Series gets underway on November 9, with the team finale reaching its conclusion the following day. Meanwhile, the individual action will run until November 11. This event will take place at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, which is a prestigious 18-hold championship course offering picturesque views of the Red Sea coastline.
The event was won in 2021 by Pia Babnik, as she finished one shot clear of Olivia Cowan with an Aramco Team Series record aggregate score of 200. Babnik will once again be a leading contender for the event this year, as she looks for a famous second victory in the event in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Emily Kristine Pederson was the winning captain in the team event last year, and she could have a fine chance in the individual event in 2022.
The Aramco Team Series is one of the most interesting events on the women’s golfing calendar, as there is both competitive team and individual action taking place. This year’s event promises to be no different, and fans of the sport can get involved in the action by placing wagers with some of the most trusted sportsbooks available online.
Recommended reading: 6 facts about Saudi Arabia’s First Grand Prix in Jeddah
New Chiefs logo for Red Deer Minor Hockey designed with guidance of indigenous leaders
News release from Red Deer Minor Hockey Board of Directors
Red Deer Minor Hockey Commission proudly announces the unveiling of their new Primary Logo, paying homage to the indigenous heritage and peoples of the region.
The revamped logo is a result of two years of dedicated efforts to align with the values and traditions of Treaty Six and Seven peoples, who are the original founders of the land on which we live, play, and work.
In 1967 in our Centennial Year, Red Deer Minor Hockey’s Earl Chadwick, with the permission of Chief John Samson, adopted the Chiefs name and logo as a tribute to the indigenous community’s and their rich cultural heritage on the Treaty 6 and 7 land that we play on. Since then, the Red Deer Minor Hockey Chiefs have strived to maintain a strong connection with the indigenous peoples of the area.
Recognizing the need to further honour and respect the indigenous heritage, the Red Deer Minor Hockey Chiefs embarked on a comprehensive logo redesign project. The objective was to create a logo that not only represents the team but also reflects the values and traditions of Treaty Six and Seven peoples.
After extensive consultation with indigenous leaders from Treaty Six and Seven, the Red Deer Minor Hockey Chiefs are proud to unveil their new logos. These logos symbolize the unity, strength, and resilience of the indigenous community, while also paying tribute to the original founders of the land.
The Red Deer Minor Hockey Commission expresses their gratitude to the indigenous leaders for their guidance and support throughout this process. Their blessing and endorsement of the new logos reinforce the team’s commitment to fostering inclusivity, diversity, and cultural appreciation within the hockey community.
The Red Deer Minor Hockey Board of Directors along with Chief Wilton Littlechild along with the Treaty 6 and 7 Chiefs invite our members and friends to join them in celebrating the unveiling of their new logos on Friday Oct 13 2023 for the Home Opener of our U18 Optimist Chiefs at the Servus Arena. The Red Deer Minor Hockey Commission remains dedicated to promoting a positive and respectful environment for all players, coaches, and fans, while honoring the indigenous heritage and peoples that have shaped the community and land we play on . We will provide the Celebration details as soon as we have finished the plans.
Red Deer Minor Hockey Board of Directors
Celebrity Owners– Fun, Yes, But The Equity Is Even Better
In case you hadn’t noticed. Celebrity Sports Ownership is all the rage. When the Ottawa Senators were for sale Ryan Reynolds, Snoop and The Weeknd were all mentioned among the bidders (that eventually went to Montreal businessman Michael Andlauer). LeBron James now holds a minority position with Liverpool FC.
Jay-Z owns part of the Brooklyn Nets, Usher a piece of the Cleveland Cavaliers while Fergie of Black Eyed Peas fame also partly owns the Miami Dolphins. Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Marc Anthony, and tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams are owners of pro sports teams. Famously, Elton John owned Watford FC, although he’s now just an honorary chairman.
And, of course, Reynolds and Rob McElhenney used a documentary TV series that showed their Welsh Wrexham soccer team promoted to the FA’s League Two. What’s the attraction?
Clearly a little PR is always a good thing. But sports team ownership has also become a lucrative equity play. As BMO reports, “The average compound annual growth rate since the last purchase price… is 15 percent, a meaningful outperformance to the TSX and S&P. Forbes estimates the Toronto Blue Jays are currently worth US$2.1 billion or roughly C$2.85 billion.
Based on recent sports franchise transactions, expansion fees and annual estimations of franchise values by Forbes Magazine, an $8 billion enterprise value is easily defendable for the Jays’ owners MLSE (who also own the Maple Leafs, Toronto FC and Argonauts).”
It’s the same across the major pro sports leagues. The estimated average franchise value in the NFL since 2013 is $5.1B with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 percent; in the NBA it is $2.9B with a CAGR of 18 percent. For MLB it is $2.3B with a CAGR of 12 percent; the NHL is $1.0B with a CAGR of 11 percent; while MLS is $0.6B with a CAGR 21%.
But, BMO cautions, owning a sports franchise is considered “an equity investment strategy rather than a cash flow or income play.” In other words, don’t think that ticket sales and hot dogs are going to make you rich. (Although the NHL’s salary cap, which guarantees owners’ profits is a sweet deal.) The key is sports media which is thriving despite the move to cord cutting..
Sports media rights contracts have grown in tandem with franchise valuations. Not to be ignored in the advertising growth and viewer interaction is the bear knowns as legalized sports betting. Betting companies are flooding the airwaves with commercials while bettors tune in to watch how their selections work out. The casinos and online shops have replaced lower-paying traditional advertisers who’ve dropped off.
In Canada, league or team ownership of broadcast properties is still common. For that reason the real value of those broadcast rights is often opaque. (We had some irritated pushback from Rogers and Bell for writing on this tidy arrangement in the mid 2010s, forcing some limited disclosures). Rogers Sportsnet and TSN own (via MLSE) own a stable of teams in MLB, NHL, CFL and MLS. Good luck finding out what they pay themselves for media rights.
It’s more open in the U.S. Since the New York Yankees pioneered the YES network in 2002— sparking multiple imitators in other markets—the move in the U.S. has been away from outright ownerships of regional sports networks. A number of RSNs in the U.S. are either in bankruptcy or nearing it. Digital and network sources are now absorbing these sources. ESPN, via its owner Disney, is looking to find partners for its many broadcast properties as their bottom line in general has suffered.
Still, ESPN’s legacy business generates revenue and operating income of approximately $12.5 billion and $4.0 billion in 2023. It remains to be seen what new model emerges in the U.S. to answer cord cutting and the death of conventional TV. The NFL’s experiment on Monday, having two MNF games compete on separate networks is one experiment.
In Canada’s monopolistic market, “TSN/RDS penetration rates have declined at a quicker pace than ESPN over the past 10 years. ESPN penetration has dropped from 81 percent of U.S. households in 2013 to 56 percent in 2022, while TSN/RDS penetration has decreased from 89% of Canadian households in 2013 to 49 percent in 2022.
In addition, BMO admits that cord cutting is a thing. “SportsNet subscribers have decreased -23 percent to 5.8 million over the same period. Subscriber and advertising revenues are 60 percent and 40 percent of total revenue, respectively. Since 2017, TSN revenues have increased 13 percent. TSN subscribers have decreased -29 percent to ~7.8 million over the same period.”
But! In the last five years, TSN and SN have increased advertising revenues by 13 percent and 15 percent respectively. The same figure for the top five Canadian non-sports channels (collectively) is six percent. Thank you legalized wagering in Ontario. So who wouldn’t want a piece of this action, especially in Canada?
The red flag in this surging equity market comes in the form of smaller Canadian NHL markets. The Senators sale for $950 suggests a healthy interest in owning, but the Sens sale was also tied into the new LeBreton Flats arena. Ownership or control of a Canadian arena means more than NHL games. It also includes revenue from concerts, rallies, monster-truck events etc.
Even with that can Andlauer produce a winner just two hours from the Montreal Canadiens market? Likewise, the Winnipeg Jets are desperately in need of a larger arena to replace the 15,321 Canada Life Centre. Having Canada’s richest man, David Thomson, as an owner is no guarantee of getting one. And should Thomson tire of being the saviour of a losing Jets hockey property, who in that market has C$1-2B lying around needed to fund the franchise properly?
Likewise, the Calgary Flames. Despite the political press conference this summer about as new agreement the arena that management promised by 2013 has still not seen a shovelful of dirt turned over. The latest gaffe was architect’s drawings for the rink being rejected by the NHL due to inadequate dressing-room space. Start again.
Should the rink not be available till 2025-26 will an evolving ownership group still be interested in shelling out the money to keep the Flames (and Stampeders, Roughnecks and Hitmen) operating in Calgary? And if they don’t, because losing sucks? While energy-rich Calgary has plenty of billionaires, few will want to risk the money needed to keep a competitive team in a small market.
Connor McDavid’s brilliance plasters over the same small-market crack in Edmonton. Yes, they have their new building, but can owner Darryl Katz fund the moves need to keep his stars and build a winner? Vancouver, owned by the Aqulini family, has a larger market base, but with Seattle Kraken just two hours away can they too write the cheques needed to create the first Stanley Cup winner since the Canucks entered the NHL in 1970.
If these Canadian markets do survive longterm it might have to be with foreign ownership. Certainly there is money to be made riding the equity train. But there also no guarantees that those carpetbagger owners might replicate the Montreal Expos and scoot to richer markets.
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Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx
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