Razorback Sports Properties' David Shoemaker on Why LPGA's NWA Golf Tournament Matters

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 12:00 am  

David Shoemaker

David Shoemaker, in his first year as general manager of Razorback Sports Properties, oversees the IMG College subsidiary, which handles multimedia rights, corporate sponsorships, signage and radio/TV programming among other duties.

Shoemaker, 32, is a North Carolina native and 2003 University of North Carolina graduate. He joined Razorback Sports Properties after spending five years running the LPGA’s NWA Championship event through sports marketing firm Octagon. Razorback Sports Properties is projected to generate $5.8 million in revenue for the UA athletic department in 2013-14.

Q: What attracted you to this position?

A: Arkansas is a small state and a small sports marketing community, so I was familiar with RSP and knew some of the guys who had worked here in the past. I found out when Ryan [Gribble] moved on that my name was thrown in the mix. I was really happy doing what I was doing and loved Arkansas after being here a little over five years. This was an opportunity to take on a new challenge and stay in Arkansas. There’s no better brand to be able to go out and sell than the Razorbacks.

Q: I don’t know that you can quantify what sort of economic impact the NWA Championship has, but why does an LPGA golf tournament matter to northwest Arkansas?

A: I think it’s a great celebration of the region. It’s an event that has built over time and continues to take leaps forward. It’s set itself apart as one of the premier destinations on the LPGA Tour. It’s a showcase piece. Recruiters based in this area can point to the event just like they do Razorback athletics, the Walton Arts Center and Crystal Bridges as things that make northwest Arkansas a great place to live and work. It’s on the Golf Channel and it showcases northwest Arkansas to a national and international audience.

Q: The LPGA event tapped into the vendor community and the consumer packaged goods companies in the region for sponsorships and marketing dollars. Can you leverage those relationships to benefit UA athletics?

A: There’s a lot of overlap. There are certainly companies involved with us that aren’t involved there and vice versa. We made a lot of great relationships there, and I was impressed with the people who were interested in helping an event like that showcase this area. They’ve got a vested interest in Arkansas. They want to showcase it, and that’s why they get involved. I think that the Razorback brand is about what the brand can do to help a business, and we want people to partner with us and support the Razorbacks. I don’t think it’s as much about leveraging relationships as finding companies that do or will support both for similar reasons. As much as we can tap into that, that’s great.

Q: What does the launch of the SEC TV Network mean for Razorback Sports Properties and IMG? You’re losing some TV and Web inventory, correct?

A: Right now television is a very small part of our inventory as far as broadcast rights. We do a few basketball games every year, we do one pay-per-view football game, and we do a couple of baseball games. That inventory will go away and be taken up by the SEC Network. But what I think the SEC Network will do for us is the idea that a rising tide raises all ships. There will be more coverage for the league. More of our games will be on television across all sports. And it will provide more exposure. That, hopefully, will breed greater interest in the program and make the other inventory we have more valuable.

 

 

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