4 Things We Learned From Pro Golfers' Shopping Habits at the Masters Merch Store
Professional athletes, they're just like us! (In that they also love a good souvenir). With The Masters Tournament this weekend, obviously all of the golfers will have their eyes on the coveted green jacket, but they also plan to hit the celebrated Masters merchandise tent for some keepsakes for themselves and their friends.
So, for a group of athletes who have been to Augusta multiple times, it shows the luster of a good piece of merchandise hasn't worn off. But, what exactly are the pros buying?
Thanks to this wonderful story from ESPN, we got a little bit of insight into what the competition field is spending in the merchandise tent in Augusta.
1. Spending varies
Like most shopping trips, especially grocery store runs on an empty stomach, sometimes the pros get excited about items in the merchandise tent and spend a decent amount of money (at least to non-pro athletes like us). ESPN said that the most Tony Finau spent is around $2,000. Brandt Snedeker said he usually spends around $1,000, but has seen people go as high as $10,000. For Abraham Anger, trips can range from a measly $40 to $3,000.
The average among interviewed pros was between $1,000 and $3,000, showing that there are still plenty of items aside from the green jacket that they want to stuff in their suitcases home.
2. There's merchandise even unavailable to the pros
The thing with Augusta merchandise is that it's exclusive. You have to actually go to Augusta to buy it. That's why so many people who are lucky enough to attend bring stuff home for golf-loving friends and family members. But, there's an even more exclusive haul of products only available to members. Players get access to the members-only pro shop, where items have a special logo with a circle around it, or the logo with "Augusta National" instead of "Masters," showing that it's not just your everyday tournament swag.
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"I'm more of like an Augusta National [guy] because I think it's just harder to come by," Finau told ESPN, proving that even professional athletes aren't immune to the hype and allure of exclusivity in merchandise.
Zach Johnson, who has already won the tournament, also prefers Augusta National shirts over Masters shirts. Michale Thompson also picked up a bracelet for his mom that's exclusive to the members' pro shop.
To take it even further, not everything in the shop is even available for players. Kevin Streelman saw a one-of-three cigar ashtray made from a tree taken down from the course. When he took it to the register, he was told that the $1,800 ashtray was only for sale to members.
3. Exclusivity still drives demand
"I would compare it to buying Jordans," James Hahn told ESPN. "People buy Jordans because they make X amount of a certain shoe, and they discontinue it for several years and you can't buy it anymore. So, same thing with the Masters stuff that I have. It's like stuff that they're not going to have maybe ever again."
It's not only a keepsake for what is a career highlight for many golfers. It's a way to particularly commemorate that year or collect something that others can't get their hands on.
4. What are the pros actually buying?
OK, now to the really good stuff. If you're working on a promotional campaign that includes golf, whether it's a charity event or an e-commerce site for a local club, you want to know what merchandise the biggest names in golf are buying even though they have access to freebies from sponsors. These are the guys whose lives revolve around the game!
ESPN has a great rundown of golfers' Masters merch buying habits. Every year, Johnson buys a tie for a guest he brings to the event. Snedeker is especially fond of a money clip he got at the shop 15 years ago. Justin Thomas likes a stand bag. Louis Oosthuizen gets a tumbler every year. Ricky Fowler buys a holiday ornament and hoodie every year. Sebastian Munoz likes a football with the tournament logo.
The most popular piece among players is actually a limited-edition putter for $700 that has the year engraved on it. Players have multiple from all of their years of playing in the tournament.
TOUR REPORT: 3 jaw-dropping custom Augusta National putters spotted before the Mastershttps://t.co/TPrpT0B9rG
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The Masters stands apart from just about every golf tournament on the planet in its prestige and pageantry. But, even if your client is a public course or a high school fundraiser, you can look at what some of the top pros on the planet want from one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. Maybe it'll give you some inspiration for your next golf-related project.
It might not mean $700 putters, but you get the idea.