34. Bridge: The Bridge/Golf Connection and the ACBL

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The first item under Key Role and Responsibilities for the new ACBL Communications Director is “Develop . . . strategic partnership goals in support of aCBL’s mission and strategic plan.” If golf-playing addicts and the clubs at which they play are not on ACBL’s strategic partnership list for marketing bridge, they should be.

Historically there has been an almost symbiotic relationship between the two games. See  http://03547c3.netsolhost.com/WordPress/2012/03/19/golf-and-the-second-greatest-game/ for David Owen’s “Golf and the Second Greatest Game.” Why not, for purpose of marketing, designate golf and country clubs as a strategic partnership?

The Buffett Bridge Cup Tournament –specific ally designed to pattern the Ryder Golf Cup–already confirms bridge establishment recognition of the historic cross-over amongst players of golf and bridge.  That’s why the Buffett Cup is held in September just before the Ryder Cup. Both are biennial and international and held alternately every two years in Britian and America. This year (2012) they will be  held in Warren Buffett’s hometown Omaha, and in a suburb of Chicago.

I have blogged before about the lack of awareness amongst bridge players of the Buffett Cup. Given that there’s already been three Buffett matches and they can be viewed live at Bridge Base, there seems to be a lack of marketing to the thousands of golf and country clubs where golf–and often bridge as well–is played.

Out of frustration and on impulse,  the other day I sent an email to the executive  producer of Sunday Morning at CBS where they did that great segment on Warren Buffett a couple of years ago. I swear, since that program everybody (whether they play bridge themselves or not) knows that Warren Buffett is a bridge player! Amazing what that one TV program accomplished. Think what an opportunity for Sunday Morning to follow up this year with one of their lifestyle segments on the symbiotic relationship between  bridge and golf.  It would be a nice sentimental recognition as well that Buffett has now turned 80–celebrating that with Omaha as backdrop. Being the only lovable billionaire in America in this election year should count for something!

Other angles CBS could add to the story. Buffett is a great example of bridge helping us (as science is saying these days) to reach old age dementia-free. There’s resistance building to spending time on costly computer games–not good for you! The alternative to that is bridge–all you need to take up this endlessly entertaining game is a couple of decks of cards.

Then there’s the Retro angle–the depression of the 30s was one of several key factors in making bridge a raging fad during that decade. The parallels between the 30s and the depression/recession of today are many yet I’ve never seen an article suggesting taking up bridge (as they did in the 30s) as an antidote in dealing with economic hard times.

Note: I never did hear from Sunday Morning.  I blame those responsible for marketing at the Buffett Cup organization and the ACBL for not doing a better job with what should be a newsworthy event.


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