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Internationalization of the PGA Tour (The)

Case 9 00 2018 003
Case published in the International Journal of Case Studies in Management, Vol. 16, No. 4
Languages : 
  • English
  • PGA Tour,
  • Internationalization,
  • Business model,
  • Multimarket competition,
  • Sports management
Year of production : 
Registration date : 
Teaching notes included : 

This case describes the internationalization of the PGA Tour, the U.S.’s professional golf circuit. Propelled in part by the popularity of golf in its domestic market, the PGA Tour built a successful business model attracting the best international players and global corporate sponsors. While the popularity of golf is showing no signs of waning in the U.S., it has been growing fast in other parts of the world. Now attempting to capitalize on opportunities abroad, the PGA Tour faces two challenges: some components of its business model do not lend themselves to internationalization, and its strongest rival, the European Tour, got a head start on the international scene in the early 1990s by gaining a foothold in many important markets.

This is a decision-making case. It describes recent events (1996–2017) surrounding the internationalization of the PGA Tour and the competitive rivalry between the PGA Tour and its main challenger, the European Tour. Students are asked to put themselves in the position of Jay Monahan, the newly appointed PGA Tour commissioner, and assess whether the international strategy of the PGA Tour will give it a competitive advantage, particularly since the European Tour is challenging the PGA Tour’s dominant position.

Primary domain : 
International business
Secondary domain : 
Sectors : 
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
Source : 
HEC Montréal
Type : 
Traditional case (Decision-making case)
Type of data used in the production of the case : 
Factual data that is not public wherein the identity of the company/person is disclosed
Event location : 
Year of start of the event : 
Year the event ended : 
Business size : 
Main themes covered

The difficulties of internationalizing some components of a business model; How multimarket contact (the simultaneous presence of two competitors in numerous markets) drives competitive tension; How head office decisions can have a lasting impact on foreign subsidiaries.

Teaching objectives

This case aims to help students to do the following:

  1. Identify the key factors that prevent a business model from being internationalized and of a strategy that could help address that challenge.
  2. Learn how to deal with multimarket competition. When competitors are simultaneously present in several countries, their competitive responses are more complex.
Concepts and theories related to the case

Multimarket competition