The verdict is still out on whether Donald Trump is the personification of the American dream, or conversely, a culmination of America’s worst nightmares. Political affiliations aside, the presidential election has served as a reality show unlike any other, the winner taking home the grand prize, ‘leader of the free world.’
Soon the race will be over and Trump will either be pulling his UHAUL up to the White House or heading back to run his globally recognized brand. With his wallet deeply invested in the golf industry, it makes us wonder what effect the election process will have on the golfing world. If Trump becomes President will his interest in golf decline given the demands of his newly appointed position? Or, if Clinton wins, will his campaign rhetoric come back to haunt him and his interests in golf?
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez opted out of a stay at the Trump International Hotel and Tower during team travel. He slept in a different hotel, saying he, ‘had his reasons.’ In Dubai, a firm building a golf complex alongside Donald Trump removed his name and image from the property.
In Vancouver, the developer of a new Trump Tower has been put under added pressure to drop Trump’s name from their new project. Last year, the Trump name could have increased the perceived value of products and services from 20%-37%. Since June his brand value has dropped 6% in country clubs and golf clubs.
Unlike Adrian Gonzales, LPGA players don’t seem to take issue with these statements. Golfweek interviewed a dozen players on the Tour and many think he’s just misunderstood and should be forgiven. Perhaps these feelings are solidified by not wanting to limit their own opportunities as women. Opposing him could do just that. However, many other women might not share that same mindset. The global income of females is projected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2018; what if the companies and budgets they look after stopped spending with his brand?
In an analysis by Reuters Investigates they show high costs and modest current valuations of Trump properties. Their examinations show that Trump has likely lost millions of dollars on his golf projects. Another report in The Guardian reveals that Donald Trump lost $31.8 million in 2014 and 2015 at his two golf properties in Scotland. However, part of the losses in these years may be explained by Trump investing to improve the properties.
No matter which side of the political spectrum you sit, you can’t deny Trump’s contributions to golf. Other large companies like Nike have started to pull out, but Trump continues to invest. He has planned to invest more than $240 million into Trump Turnberry and $600 million into Trump International Golf Links.
And as he continues to take hit after hit from the media he’s still standing. His increased fame throughout the entire election process has made him even more marketable, leading to more money. Post presidential race this could mean further investment into the game. Many CEOs have made remarks and had their brands survive.
The question remains, is Donald Trump’s presidential run destroying his golf brand? Let us know your thoughts by Tweeting @vpargolf.