The Masters as a Brand
If you’re from Georgia, are a golf fan or just someone who enjoys immaculate scenery, then The Masters is a “can’t miss” affair each year. If you consider this just another golf tournament, you might be missing the bigger picture and discussion of how The Masters and Augusta National built a powerful brand.
In 1934, Bobby Jones was making his return to competitive golf. The venue was Augusta National Golf Club, a club he co-founded, and the setting was the first Augusta National Invitation Tournament. They were trying to build upon a private golf club that was born during the Great Depression, no small endeavor for even a superstar like Jones. When they couldn’t lure the US Open to Augusta National, they simply started their own tournament. And what a tournament is has become.
The Masters Tournament is all about tradition, prestige and old-school fun. The winner gets a green jacket and is forever known as a “Champion at Augusta”, and honor that many golfers might admit is the pinnacle of their career. They get to host a Champions Dinner the year following their win where all green jacket holders assemble as golf’s elite. There are no cell phones, cameras or electronic devices allowed inside on tournament days. They don’t have sponsor’s logos and ads plastered everywhere; as a matter of fact, they don’t have any of that inside. You can’t even order a Coke…it’s simply a “soda”. No branding on the cups. No beer labels (light beer, import, and domestic are your choices). Food and beer is cheap. And if that isn’t enough to take you back in time to a time when golf was “pure”, consider this: The Masters is the only major gold tournament that employs sudden death to determine a winner in the event of a tie. Win or go home. That simple.
People flock to Augusta in early April each year. Ever want to see what a gathering of the world’s nicest private jets looks like? Just swing by Augusta Regional Airport during the tournament. Gulfstream has their $65M plane on display there right now. Just because, well, you know…it’s The Masters.
There are stories about stories about stories about the landscaping. If you’ve never been there, know that you’ve never seen color in flowers and lush green grass like this. It would make a master gardener blush. Employing heaters to make sure plants grow and bloom in time for the tournament. Cutting grass by hand with scissors and fingernail clippers. Myth? Nope. All true.
Without a doubt, The Masters is a spectacle that can’t be fully appreciated from the comfort of your leather chair and through the lens of a 4K television. You need to go and experience it in person. Because they have built a brand that has endured immeasurable popularity for nearly a century. They stayed true to their roots, became the best at what they do and make the tournament into a destination for people that don’t even like golf. It should be on the bucket list of anyone in the world. They put on a good show on top of all of these things, and it works.
Consider these same thoughts when thinking about how to build your brand into one that is long-lasting and creates ambassadors and loyal customers. Be you. Be bold. Be transparent. Then watch the magic happen.Back