The Masters is truly “a tradition unlike any other.” The golf tournament is the first major championship of the golf season and one of the most famous tournaments throughout history. One player will wear the coveted green jacket at the end of the weekend, arguably the greatest trophy in golf.
Unlike other major championships, the Masters is played at one course — Augusta National. The course is also known for its exclusivity in terms of private membership and sponsorships during the tournament. There are only six official sponsors for the Masters: AT&T, Delta, IBM, Rolex, UPS, and Mercedes-Benz. No sponsored signage is allowed on the course, which is in stark contrast to many major tournaments. While there might not be as many sponsors at the Masters, we put together this blog to highlight players’ and leagues’ social presence, and keep you up to date on the growth of golf through brand partnerships and advanced analytics!
Brands Breaking Through At The Masters
While it is hard for brands to activate around the Masters with it’s limited list of sponsors and no on-course signage, it is not impossible. Brands have been finding ways to engage golf fans during the week of the Master’s by getting creative. Popular golf brands activate around the event by creating social media giveaways featuring limited-edition staff-bags and golf balls with iconic Masters designs woven into their products, such as the famous pink azalea flowers and their green and yellow color scheme.
In a deal with the PGA Tour, EA Sports’s PGA Tour “Road to the Masters” game will feature the famous Augusta National course along with other championship courses. To promote the release, EA Sports and the PGA Tour invited influencers, athletes, and artists to participate in the Road to the Masters Invitational: a gaming tournament held at Augusta National where players tested out the new game. Unique activations like this harness influencers’ power to effectively engage fans on social media.
Top 10 Golfers by Video Views
While there is much talk about the tension between the PGA Tour and the new LIV Golf tour, the top players in the world are playing at Augusta. Everyone knows legendary players like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but there are plenty of great players on the course that non-golf fans wouldn’t know, such as Max Homa and Min Woo Lee. Using Blinkfire’s Global Ranking Report, we put together the top 10 players by total video views in 2023. When you look through this list, remember the names when you turn on the Masters this weekend, and don’t be surprised when you see many of them on top of the leaderboard.
These players have significant followings and are often seen as important brand ambassadors for golf brands. You’ll see players sporting their apparel and equipment sponsors throughout the tournament, such as TaylorMade, Nike, Callaway, Cobra, Titleist, FootJoy, PXG, and more. Simply posting videos and images where their apparel and equipment sponsors are visible can make a big impact on exposure for these brands. Brand partners are hoping that their players can have a successful tournament, which translates to valuable exposure across broadcast, social media, and digital. Last year’s champion was Scottie Scheffler, who is a Nike-sponsored athlete. This champion’s post from the PGA Tour received over 123K engagements for the brand. Much like the red carpet, fans and sponsors want to know who the winner will be wearing this year.
Netflix’s “Full Swing”
Netflix’s docuseries, “Full Swing,” followed professional golfers throughout the 2021-22 season on and off the course. The series was sponsored by Michelob Ultra and their campaign was even featured in a Super Bowl advertisement (seen below). Golf has always been a big sponsorship sport with players’ apparel, golfing equipment, and tournaments, but this series brought golf into a new light. The players’ sponsors featured in the docuseries received valuable exposure from Netflix and the surrounding social media coverage of the series. The series was a massive success and has been renewed by Netflix for a second season along with the similar “Break Point” Netflix series that gave an inside look into the world of professional tennis.
While “Full Swing” was a success for Netflix, it might have been an even greater triumph for golf. This docuseries gave an inside look into a pro golfer’s struggles, victories, schedules, family life, and routines — and it wasn’t just for the golf or sports fan. Netflix subscribers who didn’t know anything about golf, as well as viewers who loved Formula 1’s “Drive to Survive” and tennis’ “Break Point,” tuned in to watch the series. Golf superstars such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, and Jordan Spieth have dedicated episodes, but the show also features lesser-known players that fans are flocking towards like Matt Fitzpatrick, Joel Dahmen, and Mito Pereira. “Full Swing” and the tours are building the sport through these featured players to drive more interest in the game of golf. Only time will tell if it affects viewership numbers for major tournaments, such as the Masters, and increases overall interest in the sport.
While you enjoy watching the best golfers in the world compete in one of the most storied tournaments in sports this weekend, keep an eye out for activations from the few official sponsors of the event. As golf continues to grow and the players on your screens get more popular, you’re sure to see your favorite brands get more involved in the game to cash in on the valuable exposure that the modern game of golf is creating.
Increase your brand presence with Blinkfire
While golf continues gaining traction in sports, sponsors are drawn to golf players, tournaments, and the tours. Whether you’re a brand, player, tournament, or organization, tracking and valuing sponsorships across different mediums can be a large effort. Blinkfire empowers partnerships and social media teams with the most accurate, real-time data in the industry powered by our patented, proprietary AI brand detection technology.
Interested in learning more about how Blinkfire can help track and value your sponsorships and social media with advanced data reporting?