The 'Shark' takes a bite out of the Web

Pro golfer Greg Norman drives a new site aimed at well-to-do golfers.

Leading golfer Greg Norman has launched a new portal style Web site, www.shark.com, aimed firmly at the pockets of high-rolling golfers and well-to-do Web users.

The site is managed by Greg Norman Interactive (GNI), a joint venture between Australian Internet media company LibertyOne and Norman's Great White Shark Enterprises. The site is currently being produced out of Florida, with support from LibertyOne in Australia.

Exclusive club
General Manager of GNI, Krisztina Javor said that the site is aimed at high-income males, aged 25 to 55 and will incorporate much more than just golfing related content.

"shark.com is not singularly focused on golf; it covers a wide range of lifestyle issues and topical areas of interest," she noted. "However, as expected, golf is still an extremely important element of shark.com, but it is only part of a much broader spectrum of lifestyle-based content represented in specialized channels."

Speaking to ZDNet Australia today, Greg Norman said that he will have a direct role in the content produced on the site, and that it will be much more than a fan site.

"Our goal is not the quantity of content but the quality of content as well, with a unique point of view. In saying that, there will be situations and comments will be written that are not mine and not that of my sponsors or advertisers, and there will be times that my editorial opinion will be mine and mine only."

No sales at first
Norman has built a significant business empire surrounding his golfing career and the development of "Shark" brand merchandising. Despite his previous business focus, Norman conceded that the site will be without e-commerce functionality until later this year. Norman would also not be drawn on his investment in the site or the expected revenue, only stating that it had been "considerable".

"It's too early to speculate about revenue. We've worked hard to integrate GNI into our corporate structure so as to make it a seamless line extension to my existing business."

The shark.com site is one of the first venture into sports based portal sites for LibertyOne which plans to launch another sporting portal site for Australian tennis star, Pat Rafter in August (http://www.oncourt.com).