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The Unique Finances of The Masters

Their choice to lose out on millions year after year…

Each year thousands of people flock to Augusta, GA to watch the annual Master’s Tournament. Since 1940, the city has hosted the event each and every year and hosts 89 competitors. Notable winners of the Master’s have been the best of the best for decades like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. The Master’s however has a very unique way of structuring their tournament that has drawn the interest of the media and the world for decades

Every year The Master’s is the most televised golf tournament in the world for the 4 days that it runs. Every young golfer dreams of one day making it to Augusta National to be one of the competitors that everyone is watching, but the real thing that makes The Master’s so mesmerizing is its lack of care about revenue. 

In today’s world, mass sporting coverage generates hundreds of millions of dollars. According to North Carolina State University, the highest grossing Super Bowl made $1.3 billion dollars, but the Masters leaves hundreds of millions on the table. It all starts with tickets. The Master’s is one of the most selective events when it comes to getting tickets. 2 million people apply every year to the lottery to get tickets, but only 22,000 total people are granted tickets throughout the whole weekend. Instead of charging upwards of $1000 for tickets, which people would pay, the masters only charge customers $140 per tournament round. Most people who get a ticket get it through this lottery for low prices, unlike many other larger events that would easily charge 10 times this amount for a single ticket. 

The Master’s also is missing out on millions in merchandise. Master’s merchandise and Augusta National merchandise are some of the most sought after pieces as they are only sold on site during the 4 day tournament. The prices for this merchandise are also lower than you think. Master’s brand quarter-zips and Nike techs are only $89, compared to the average $150 most other expensive brands cost. T-shirts are also only $30, which is also drastically under-priced for an event to the caliber of the Master’s. Nonetheless, The Master’s sold $69 million in merchandise in 2022 which proves that millions of dollars could be made if they raised their prices. The Master’s also charges industry low prices for concessions. In a world where meal standards are now at over $15 with an additional tip and service charge on top, the Master’s charges less than $10 for a main course, multiple sides, and a beverage.  

The final unique sales practice of The Master’s is that of advertising. The Master’s sticks to only 5 advertisers that split 4 minutes of ad time every hour. They also waive all of their media sales to ESPN and streaming platforms in an agreement to control their own broadcast and what gets shown to viewers.  Advertising is also not seen at all throughout the course to preserve the reputation of the tournament and the course as being a golf paradise. 

Although The Master’s misses out on almost $300 million dollars annually, the pricing and non commercial environment is what makes the tournament so mesmerizing for many and worth the cost of tickets, and pain of the lottery. For 4 days every year, golf fans can escape their corporate and commercial lives and live in a golf paradise, watching the best of the best in the golfing world.

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Maddox Johnson
Maddox Johnson, News Reporter
Class of 2025 Maddox Johnson is serving his first year on staff. He enjoys watching movies and golfing in his free time.

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  • Student EditorMay 1, 2024 at 12:05 pm