With the dust settling at Augusta National, Repucom take a look at just how important Jordan Spieth’s Masters’ victory was, in terms of the players marketing potential and how important this new generation of golfers is to the game.
Ahead of the tournament, it was Spieth and McIlroy who Repucom pointed out as the front runners to taking Tiger Woods’ crown as the most marketable player in golf. The win over the weekend for Spieth at only 21 has certainly supercharged his profile, clinching his and the year’s first Major title. But in terms of Jordan Spieth as a marketing endorser, how much will this win have grown this claim?
THE GENERATIONAL SHIFT IN GOLF
Ahead of the 2015 Masters Tournament, Paul Smith, CEO and Founder of Repucom, said: “This exciting generational shift in the sport, combined with the changing landscape in golf’s marketability means the Majors will, this year, play an even greater role in shaping who brands align themselves to.
“There are more players in the mix vying for that number one spot and many of them are attracting younger audiences which remain the lifeblood of any sports fan base. Interestingly, the appeal of edgier personalities are allowing brands not synonymous with golf to breakthrough, largely in apparel. Rickie Fowler’s partnership with Puma and Jordan Spieth’s recent 10 year deal with Under Armour provide good examples of this.
“Ultimately for sponsoring brands, it’s all about getting that sponsorship fit right. Aligning to a player who has the right mix of appeal, credibility and familiarity whilst still speaking to the brands values and customers is vital.”
And in terms of Spieth, it looks like he might have the whole package, appealing to both golf’s younger followers as well as the sports traditional fan base.
Max Barnett, Repucom’s UK digital expert speaks to CNN following Spieth’s Masters victory
“If Spieth can secure a second Major in 2015, we could well be seeing the making of the next Rory McIlroy and even, Tiger Woods.” Jon Stainer, Managing Director UK and Ireland
NEW BRANDS ACCESSING THE SPORT
Following Spieth’s win on Sunday, Jon Stainer, managing director of Repucom UK&I, said: “Jordan Spieth’s win highlights what a fantastic prospect this young golfer is, not just for the sport as a whole, but for brands too.
“The 10 year deal he recently signed with Under Armour is a perfect example of that and this victory at Augusta to win the first of 2015’s Major titles illustrates just how well timed that deal really was for the apparel brand. The deal also shows the extent to which certain brands, who have until now not been largely associated with golf, are starting to penetrate. The same can be said of Rickie Fowler’s deal with Puma.
“Whilst similar brands which attract a younger, active customer base will of course be looking at Spieth as perhaps a more valuable asset now, he will also appeal to golf’s more traditional sponsors. The coverage he received during the weekend painted him in a positive light; a calm, considered player who portrayed a player older than his years, something often pointed to by the commentary teams and ex-players alike.
“That said, Spieth is certainly someone who attracts younger fans to the game. Ahead of the 2015 tournament, the 18-34 age group ranked as the largest demographic of those looking forward to watching Jordan Spieth play.
“In terms of the potential growth of Spieth’s marketability, this win will have certainly helped him to become one of golf’s top endorsers. At only 21, ahead of the tournament 20% of the US population already knew who he was. A figure that will surely grow in the coming months.”
JORDAN SPIETH’S RISING PROFILE
A point emphasised in the marketing magazine, The Drum’s coverage, ’Jordan Spieth on course to emulate Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in the sponsorship stakes after Masters win’ as well as the Reuters’ article ‘Masters win could boost golf, Jordan Spieth’s endorsement portfolio’, both of which featuring Repucom’s insights.
Stainer, continued: “Although Spieth ranks behind the likes of Rory McIlroy in terms of his overall marketability, this win will see attributes such as awareness, appeal and influence grow. This is the power of winning a Major tournament at such a young age. It gives fans and sponsors alike a taste of the scale of his potential. For example, in 2011, ahead of McIlroy’s 2011 U.S. Open win, only 17% of the US population had heard of him. Following the win, that figure had leaped to over 48% of the total population, where his DBI Score, which measures overall marketability, grew from 34.27 to 55.73. If Spieth can secure a second Major in 2015, we could well be seeing the making of the next Rory McIlroy and even, Tiger Woods.”