So the “brand lady,” as fellow blogger Geoff Shackelford coined her, is done. That’s right — LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens is toast after failing to stop a revolt by some of her key stars. My only encounter with Bivens happened a few years back — when she made an exceptionally odd remark about Lorne Rubenstein. Other than that, I had few strong opinions on her time as the head of the LPGA. Of course her short tenure brought lots of controversy — from the language debate last summer, to her current issues with sponsors.
However, I did recently write about the problems sponsor CN Rail was having with the LPGA. In this column, Mark Wallace, who deals with public affairs for CN, complained the organization wasn’t being listened to, despite pumping millions into the CN Canadian Womens Open. Yesterday Wallace was being much more careful with the party line:
CN will not comment on the news regarding the resignation of Carolyn Bivens nor on the status of our current negotiations other than to say we look forward to continuing to work with the RCGA and with the LPGA Tour and its new Acting Commissioner in the weeks and months ahead.
Scott Simmons, executive director of the RCGA, was more forthcoming:
I don’t think this will effect our negotiations. Things are going in the right direction. It is not going to go off the rails.
I’d been hearing talk to the contrary, so Simmons confidence was intriguing. Interestingly, Simmons said he wasn’t sure what role Bivens would have played in the negotiations, though he said when CN and RCGA execs met with the LPGA Tour last month, Bivens was at the meeting.