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London/ Augusta (04/04/14) – The Masters, which tees off April 10th in Augusta, USA, is the most valuable vehicle for player sponsorship in golf worldwide, Repucom, a global leader in sports marketing research, identifies.
In terms of brand exposure for player sponsors alone, the 2013 Masters tournament generated globally 25% more value per second of exposure for player sponsors than the next closest Major, the U.S. Open Championship. In the US, that gap grows to almost 50%.
There are a number of key factors at play. The Masters has the highest viewership globally of any golf tournament. As a result, media rates for the programing of The Masters are at a premium. Played at the same venue annually, the tournament also has the fewest number of players competing of any other golf Major and has a relatively limited broadcast window.
The total on-screen exposure generated for player sponsors in the domestic broadcast at The Masters in 2013 was 5 hours and 45 minutes. This compares to the US Open (10 hours and 17 minutes), Open Championship (11 hours and 14 minutes) and PGA Championship, (6 hours and 42 minutes). Furthermore, Repucom detected only 300 separate player branded apparel and equipment locations, compared to US Open (637), Open Championship (478), and PGA Championship (436).
This limited broadcast window combined with high viewership figures and fewer detected brands increase the value of the broadcast for player sponsors.
Paul Smith, Repucom’s CEO, said: “Of all the four Majors in golf, the Masters is widely considered the most prestigious by golf fans and stands out as one known particularly for changing the careers for its champions. For the winners of the coveted green jacket as well as their fellow competitors, it can create an incredibly valuable marketing platform for not just themselves but also their sponsors.
“The exclusivity of The Masters creates a premium hosting opportunity and a solid week on the course will set up a strong start to the rest of the year and create significant marketing momentum around a player.
“The tournament is the most valuable vehicle for player sponsorship in golf and it is down to the brands themselves to capitalize on this opportunity to engage with the fans. Social Media is increasingly affording more creative opportunities for brands to engage with fans, particularly if they can leverage Golfers who actively engage with their followers socially in unique and authentic ways. But unifying this effort through the broadcast is the challenge at hand.”
An example of the tournament’s value to sponsors was best illustrated in 2013. The rain that fell during the play-off between Argentine, Angel Cabrera and reigning champion, Adam Scott meant that Cabrera’s umbrella became a major source of exposure for his sponsor, PING. In fact, Cabrera’s PING umbrella was the third most valuable overall branded apparel location at the 2013 Masters, generating $4.5M in global media value*.
This exposure alone during the final round of the Masters vaulted Angel Cabrera’s PING umbrella into the top 30 player brand locations in 2013 – across all PGA TOUR, Majors and Co-Sanctioned events, including every player that participated. It ranked 29th out the 3,232 branded locations that appeared in 2013, all from this one playoff proving indeed, just how valuable air time during The Master is.
*Repucom’s adjusted media evaluation model that accounts for the quality of brand presentation on screen in addition to audience and broadcast coverage.
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