Beyond the Scoreboard: Tiger and the PGA Championship, plus NHL parity originally appeared on nbcsportswashington.com
By Rick Horrow
Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins
Thanks to Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka…and John Daly, fitness and longevity take center stage at this week's PGA Championship. As the PGA of America prepares to host its annual Major this week, PGA Tour veteran and former PGA Championship winner John Daly is also making headlines in New York. For the first time since pro Casey Martin, Daly has received approval to use a golf cart during the tournament, citing arthritis in his knees that prevents him from navigating the hilly Bethpage Black course. While Daly is an old school product of the Tour – he reached his peak before hitting the gym was a regular part of the pro golf regimen – "today's crop of PGA Tour pros, led by the likes of Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka, are finely-tuned athletes, seeking out fitness and recovery techniques that will keep them healthy on the course much longer," said Jeff Conroy, CEO of regenerative medicine leader Embody, which has developed an innovative collagen based microfiber implant designed for use in Achilles' and rotator cuff repairs – a common affliction in golf. Between rotator cuff and Achilles injuries, Embody's orthopedic solutions address a combined market exceeding 750,000 surgical cases in the U.S. annually.
This year's Stanley Cup parity is the "world Commissioner Gary Bettman envisioned" when the league instituted a salary cap in 2005," according to the Associated Press. While all four division winners have been eliminated, Bettman "prefers to call it ‘competitive balance,' and it's the thing he trumpets the most about the state of the league." There is "not a lot of national buzz" when teams from Raleigh and Columbus meet in the Eastern Conference Finals, and absent a potential Bruins-Sharks Stanley Cup Final, there are "some combinations that don't exactly sizzle for those who aren't avid fans." NBC Sports reported the "highest first-round ratings in the network's history." If more big markets go out, that picture "could change and interest could wane, but Bettman believes it all evens out over time." There are many other positive factors besides ratings. In Raleigh, according to insider sources, thanks to their playoff run, the Hurricanes have already sold $3.6 million in new ticket business for next season.
ISM Connect will expand its Allegiant Airline Network with the addition of two new Minor League Baseball teams, the Salt Lake Bees and Boise Hawks, in June and by 20 more stadiums in 2020, nearly doubling the size of the existing network. ISM launched its network across 25 ballparks on the MiLB's Opening Night, officially introducing the world's first and only integrated, in-venue smart network of fan engagement technology. ISM Connect has already delivered targeted marketing and custom branded content to an engaged audience of nearly five million MiLB fans. Already, over 15 local and three national brands, including Allegiant, Applegate, and BAM, have joined the network. Across the 25 active ballparks, ISM published 400 pieces of content on Opening Night, including local and national content and advertising. Additionally, several original series went live. "Logo Love" dives into the unique world of MiLB logos and team names, while "Better Up" traces the youth baseball training evolution. Within weeks, fan engagement with the Ballpark Insider social community quickly swelled to nearly 3,000 followers.