the irreverent player in our space

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Senior Member
There is a phrase in the book Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni, which I don't quite understand.
The complete paragraph is this:
Connor added, "They’re trying to establish themselves in the market as the irreverent player in our space. They want to portray us as being stodgy and targeted at old folks, so they can take advantage of all the kids who are into golf because of Tiger Woods."

The story (fable) is about a former golf player who starts a software company to produce realistic golf video games, and the conversation happens in one of their weekly staff meetings where the executives are talking about their competitors.

Is "irreverent player" a sports term? What kind of player is that?
Does "our space" refer to sports too, or does it simply mean our realm or our area?
Could somebody explain the phrase to me in a simple language?

  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    This is business parlance.

    "Our space" = the market, or customer group, to which our company caters. It appears this is a company who manufactures golfing equipment of some sort. The "players" in this space would refer to competing companies who are marketing to the same demographic, i.e. golfers.

    In this case, the speaker is describing this company as "irreverent" in contrast to the image it is trying to promote of their own company, as "stodgy and targeted at old folks." Someone who is "irreverent" is not respectful of, or directly disrespectful of, things commonly treated with respect or reverence. So, lacking the surrounding context, I would assume the company they are speaking of employs "edgy" marketing tactics to attempt to appear "cool" and appeal to younger fans.

    (Edited slightly for clearer explanation)


    Senior Member
    The company develops golf video games, so you are right; they are talking about their market and a competitor company which is trying to expand into and own it. I thought maybe the phrase refers to something in sports in general or in golf.

    Thank you


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Player in this context refers to a "player" in the business world - i.e. a participant in whatever market is being discussed.

    Ford, Toyota and BMW are all big players in the automotive market. They all sell a lot of cars.

    The "space" referred to is the area of video games devoted to golf. The two companies are competing in that space, trying to sell their golf video games. They want customers to buy their game and not the other company's game.

    Golf has a boring reputation to many people. They think it's not exciting and the people who play it and watch it are not exciting and are very traditional. The other company is trying not to act boring when marketing their game. They are trying to make their game seem exciting compared to the game made by the company the golfer started. They are trying to make it seem less traditional and boring. Irreverent in this context means not following tradition.
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