Scarcity, exclusivity and access to media rights are key to the out-sized deal values generated by The Masters relative to the three other golf Majors.
The deals between the event’s rights-holder, Augusta National Golf Club, and its six partners fall into two tiers: Global Partners – IBM, Mercedes-Benz and AT&T – which get exclusive rights in the US, as well as internationally, and International Partners – Rolex, UPS and Delta Air Lines – which hold rights outside the US.
Sponsors of The Masters may also spend about $5m per year on advertising commitments with the tournament’s broadcast partners. Global Partners may therefore commit between $15m (€13.5m) and $20m per tournament, inclusive of media spend, and International Partners between $10m and $15m per tournament, inclusive of media spend.
All the values listed in this report are for marketing rights only and do not include media spend.
Three of the four Majors are ‘clean’, that is to say, they do not allow branding on the golf course, except for presentations by the Official Timekeeper.
The exception is The Open Championship, which allows sponsor branding around the tee positions. The tournament’s right-holder, The R&A, provides all seven ‘Patrons’ with exposure on ‘tee-boards’ – signage that forms a backdrop at each of the 18 tee-positions.
Each Patron pays about $3.9m per year with the exception of Rolex, the Official Timekeeper, which is likely to pay more because of its clock presence at every tee and the brand’s inclusion in graphic displays on broadcast coverage.
Rolex surrendered its domination of all four golf Majors when it let in rival brand Omega as an Official Patron at the PGA Championship in 2012. Omega is currently paying about $4.5m per year, from 2015 to 2022, for the tournament rights.
Is should be noted that deal values for the PGA Championship and US Open are extrapolated from bigger organisation-wide deals with the event rights-holders, the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association, respectively.