How Much Does It Cost for a Brand to Put Its Logo on a PGA Tour Golfer's Hat? (Spoiler: It's a Lot)
Some things about golf are iconic. Tiger's fist pump (which, thankfully, we've seen again recently), Jon Daly knocking the lights out of every golf ball that ever existed, and the polite tip of the cap to the crowd after sinking a putt. It's that last one that we want to draw the most attention to here, because a little moment like that is actually a valuable advertisement for companies. There's only space for one logo on the very front of a cap, so it's one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the game.
So, how much is it worth exactly? Apparently, it's so much that a top golf agent had to divulge it to GOLF.com under the promise of anonymity.
For a top pro, (your Jordan Spieths, Rory McIlroys and Rickie Fowlers) that hat logo costs anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 a year. That might not seem like too much, or as much as you maybe thought based on the headline. But the thing is, it usually comes paired with additional sponsorship deals, which can add up very quickly.
“The front of the hat is your No. 1 real estate," the agent told GOLF. "On the high end, this deal generally includes other inventory—bag, equipment—as well. If you’re a Top 30 player, you’re definitely making seven figures on this. For a Top 10 guy, you’re looking north of $3 million and getting close to eight figures for the most marketable players in the world. For this deal, a player will be obligated to, on average, commit to giving a company three to four appearance/promotional days per year.”
It makes sense. As soon as they're finished their swing, the cameras show their face. When they're walking with their caddie, you're looking at that logo. It's a billboard that cameras focus in on almost magnetically.
It's not just in golf, either. Red Bull, which is one of the most branding-happy companies on the planet, requires its athletes, especially skateboarders, to rock a Red Bull hat whenever they're in events or filming video parts.
Sorry but our hats are for Red Bull sponsored athletes only @RachShredGnar We do have merchandise at events though so look there!
— Red Bull Skateboarding (@redbullskate) October 22, 2012
When we look at people, we usually look at their eyes first. A logo on a hat is about as perfectly placed as a logo could possibly be. That's why the promotional headwear category keeps on growing, and why brands pay top dollar to get their logo front and center on golfer's heads.