Five Business Lesson from The Masters

Five Business Lesson from The Masters

This week, The Masters Tournament at August National Golf Club will be held in the fall for the first time in tournament history.

For golf fans, both casual and serious, The Masters is the highlight of the year. As for business owners, The Masters can teach us valuable business lessons as well.

Lesson #1: Rough Periods Don’t Define Your Business

Augusta National Golf Club is without a doubt one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world.

However, Augusta National wasn’t always the epitome of success you see today.

Early in the club’s existence during the Great Depression, Augusta National almost failed to get off the ground. During this time, Club co-founder, Clifford Roberts, had incredible difficulty attracting new members as debt mounted, and the club could not keep up with interest payments.

In turn, the club even went so far as to provide free ads in early Masters programs to the vendors they owed in lieu of payment.

Despite these early struggles, the vision of Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts developed into the incredible tournament golf fans enjoy today.

Lesson #2: Advertise Your Natural Advantages

The idea for The Masters Tournament came about from the need to raise capital for Augusta National Golf Club.

Co-founder Bobby Jones had retired from competitive golf but was convinced to come back and play in order to give more awareness to the tournament.

Revenue from ticket sales in the early years went directly to paying debts and improving the club. In addition, the original members even had to pass the hat around to raise the $1500 first-place prize money for the first winner.

But what the club knew was that Bobby Jones was an international name. As a result, they used his reputation to advertise the tournament and help it become the event it is today.

Lesson #3: Create an Incredible Customer Experience

Golf fans at The Masters aren’t called fans, they are called patrons. The reason for this is Clifford Roberts viewed patrons and their support of the tournament as critical.

He felt patrons should have a first-class experience, affordable food options, and help to navigate the course.

The original purpose of the famed green jacket was for patrons to easily identify members during The Masters and be able to ask them questions. To this day, this top-notch experience is executed to the smallest detail.

The Masters
Jack Nicklaus, "The Golden Bear," is pictured at Augusta National Golf Club in 2006. At age 46, Nicklaus became the oldest winner of The Masters in 1986. (Photo Wikipedia)
Lesson #4: Control Your Brand

The iconic logo of The Masters – a yellow rendering of the continental United States with a golf flag emerging from Georgia, is well known the world over.

However, The Masters brand is much more than a logo. Their brand includes the ideas of tradition, class, and excellence.

From television coverage to the pro shop, everything surrounding The Masters and Augusta National is tightly controlled. Their perpetual one-year contract with CBS is legendary for the control the club has over every second of the tournament. Their brand is reinforced with every broadcast, social media post, or merchandise purchase.

Lesson #5: Never Stop Improving and Innovating

Starting with Clifford Roberts, and continuing to this day, The Masters has been on the cutting edge of innovation. Many television production techniques such as color broadcasting, numerous camera angles, and online streaming options have been innovated by The Masters.

The new media center, finished in 2017, is the height of technological sophistication. Media members receive a badge that gives tournament organizers their name, publication, and other information that allows for a first-class experience. Meetings are organized after each Masters Tournament to see how improvements for patrons, players, and media can be made the following year.

If you are like me, you can’t wait to enjoy the Masters each year. 

When you watch this year, try to find ways your business can be excellent.

If you need help in generating revenue through advertising, branding, digital marketing or web design, contact our team to start developing a winning strategy.