The Masters Tournament At Augusta Is Leaving $269 Million On The Putting Green

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 07: Tiger Woods plays his shot from the 18th tee throughout the veryfirst round of … [+] the Masters. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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The Masters is the most prominent competition on the PGA Tour, amassing a lot of attention from folks who generally puton’t follow golf, however when it comes to making cash, the Masters comes in a remote 2nd to the U.S. Open. This year the Masters will produce $142 million in profits, versus $160 million for the U.S. Open based on my estimations.

The breakdown of the Masters’ $141 million consistsof income from product ($69 million), badges ($39 million), worldwide tv rights ($25 million), and concessions ($8 million). Notably missingouton from Augusta’s profits are domestic television rights and sponsorship earnings. In contrast, the U.S. Open gets $93 million for its domestic television rights and north of $15 million from sponsors.

The Masters profits shortage is intentional. Says Peter Laatz, the Global Managing Director of IEG, “Augusta National desires to keep the mystique and originality surrounding the competition in location, consistingof keeping the course itself as beautiful as possible. The 4 majors are various from all other PGA Tour occasions, and within that the Masters is totally various from the other 3 majors.” Thus, the absence of on-course signs.

Augusta has simply 6 sponsors – AT&T, Delta, IBM, Mercedes Benz, Rolex, and UPS – which split a minimalistic 4 minutes of business time per hour of occasion protection. Most of the sponsorship cash goes straight to Augusta’s media partners, CBS and ESPN, to cover the expense of production, with the rest going to pay to host hospitality occasions for VIP customers. Given the U.S. Open creates at least $15 million per year in sponsorship income, it is safe to presume that the Masters might pull in at least $20 million, thanks to its much greater television viewership.

The Money Behind the Masters


The Masters produces no domestic television earnings duetothefactthat its arrangements with CBS and ESPN permit Augusta total control of the broadcast in exchange for no payment. In contrast, the USGA gets $93 million per year from NBC to air the U.S. Open. Lee Berke, who runs his own consulting company LHB Sports, Entertainment, and Media stated that Augusta might command $100 million or more if the club were ever to completely advertise and auction their domestic media rights.

Badges and concessions are likewise badly underpriced. Augusta offers practice round badges for $75, single-day competitive round badges for $115, and four-day competitive round badges for $375 – under $100 per day of competitors. Augusta is the just validated seller of Masters’ badges, however badges are readilyavailable on the secondary market. On sites like StubHub and SeatGeek, practice round badges start at $600, single-day badges average $1,700, and four-day badges about $6,000. Being conservative, if Augusta were to charge half of what secondary market costs are, its badge income would dive to $185 million.

As far as concessions at Augusta, clients can purchase any beer used for simply $5, less than what most places get for a hot petdog. Sandwiches ($1.50-$3), soft beverages ($2), and numerous treats (all $1.50) are a deal. This works out to a per cap of about $25. These rates might quickly be brought up to a per cap of about $40, increasing concessions profits to $12 million.

Add it all up and the Masters is leaving $269 million on the putting green, 35% more than it was 7 years earlier. Being the elite brandname in golf comes with a large cost tag.

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