Bulls and Bears: Henderson breaks out, Bouchard going in circles

 

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

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Sorting out the major winners and losers of this week — with a bottom-line twist — in the world of sports.

BULLS OF THE WEEK

This was a breakout week in the business of golf for 17-year-old Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont. Not only did she win her first LPGA Tour event, she won the hearts of many Canadian golf enthusiasts and casual sports fans with her approach to winning. Despite the runaway nature of her result at the Cambia Portland Open, in which she put eight strokes between her and the rest of the field, Henderson was all class and grace. She also responded to the torrent of media requests with the utmost of professionalism and accommodation, seemingly understanding that investment of time was not only good for her name recognition and profile, but good for the LPGA Tour and Canadian golf.

Henderson went well beyond the perfunctory obligations of the post-tournament media conference in Portland, Ore., and apparently made time for every individual request she received from Canadian television, radio and print outlets in the 48 hours after her win. She even appeared on some Canadian sports radio stations twice in a 24-hour span.

Two days later, the LPGA Tour made her professionalism official, issuing her the full status of a card-carrying Tour member a month before her 18th birthday. Her social media posts came across as heartfelt and genuine and only added to the strong connection she created this week among supporters of Canadian golf.

No amount of paid advertising for this week’s Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam could have matched the promotional value of Henderson’s win in Portland and the amount of media impressions and fan connections she generated by the way she handled herself in such overwhelming demand. It’s certainly early days for the Ontario teenager, but Henderson’s understanding of media relations could pump up the revenue-generating value of her corporate endorsements in is an extremely promising career.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

It was another disappointing week for WTA Tour star Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que. Her remarkable rise to No. 5 in the world on the strength of the first six months of 2014 seems like an eternity ago. She lost in the first round at last week’s Rogers Cup in Toronto and in the second round of the Western & Southern Open this week in Cincinnati, extending the length of the slump that began at last year’s Rogers Cup in Montreal.

We’re still bullish on Bouchard’s talent, tremendous marketing appeal and potential. What’s disconcerting is her coaching carousel, the way she’s being managed and what appears to be too much too soon in the way of corporate work and modelling. If she aspires to be more Maria Sharapova than Anna Kournikova, regaining that balance is essential for Bouchard the tennis player short-term and for Bouchard the businesswoman long-term.

Listen to The Sport Market on TSN 1040 AM Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bulls & Bears airs at 9 a.m., followed by Weekend Extra with Sun Sports at 9:30 a.m. Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/thesportmarket

 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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