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Industry veterans bolster LIV Golf’s efforts

By Mark J. Burns and John Lombardo

The addition of two sports industry veterans to its executive roster further elevates the Greg Norman-led venture that plans major investments in golf throughout the world.

Bringing on Sean Bratches as chief commercial officer and Ron Cross as chief events officer delivers more than 60 years of combined experience in golf and sports overall to LIV Golf Investments. Both are already on the job, reporting to Norman, who serves as CEO.

Ron Crossliv golf investments

Bratches served as managing director of commercial operations at Formula One from 2017-20 and was a nearly 30-year veteran at ESPN in sales and marketing. Among the areas rolling up to Bratches at LIV Golf Investments include sponsorship, ticketing, hospitality, production, communications, media and CRM and data, he said.

Said Bratches of what attracted him to the venture, “A material investment in the sport, not only economically, but from a vision perspective, would elevate the game, would bring more people into the game, would create a much more solid economic footing for the incumbent participants and engender a little bit more excitement than what exists today. All of that was really interesting to me. The investment platform is intended to put more water in the ocean, and all boats will rise as a result.” 

On the revenue front, Bratches will be tasked with “overseeing the brand, the fan experience, and the commercialization of the investments that we make in and around the sport.”

Sean Bratchesliv golf investments

Cross worked at the PGA Tour for two decades running various events for the tour. He worked at Augusta National Golf Club from 2008-16 as senior director of corporate affairs before returning to work for the tour from 2016-20 as senior vice president overseeing the Presidents Cup.

“My role for LIV Golf Investments is overseeing events that we will be investing into,” said Cross. “It is what I have been doing for a long time and Greg has provided me the opportunity to do that with him and the team at LIV Golf Investments.”

Cross said he will support the venture’s previously announced involvement in the Asian Tour and “whatever we can invest in and make golf better in the long run and trying to figure out what’s best for LIV Golf Investments and the world of golf.”

Cross said that since joining, “It’s been a lot of great conversations and trying to put things together to find out where and when we can make the biggest and best impact.”

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