The First-Ever Online Masters Merch Store Is as Impressive as the Real Thing, But Less Intimidating
Finally, we have a view of the highly anticipated Masters Tournament online shop—a first for the golf world, as usually the merchandise is only available for people who made it to Augusta National.
The store is accessible only to ticket holders for the event, which was originally planned for April, but at least we can get a better feel for what merch is available without having to rely on iPhone photos from the humongous merchandise tent at Augusta.
One thing that we can’t tell is what’s selling the quickest. Until things are listed as out of stock, we have to assume everything is just kind of on the same playing field. It’s probably safe to assume that things like golf shirts and hats are outselling gnomes. But you never know. This was a weird year. Maybe everyone got super into gnomes.
The November date for the tournament might actually boost sales for things like gnomes, as suddenly it becomes the biggest holiday shopping event for the golf fan in your life.
To limit stock, apparently shoppers can only check out twice. But, since it’s all online and shipped to their doors, they’re not beholden to carrying things around and fitting them into overhead containers on a plane.
Golf.com’s Alan Bastable compared this year’s shopping experience to the real-life experiences of the past:
From personal experience, I can tell you the on-site merch compound is an assault on the senses. Dozens of logoed hats whisper your name. Racks upon racks of shirts and vests and pullovers leave your head spinning as you bob and weave your way through hundreds of other giddy and anxious shoppers. The dizzying array of accessories has you calling home to get permission to buy a special-edition $395 Masters timepiece. (“It’s Swiss-made!” you cry.) More than once, I’ve found myself leaving the store with very little, nothing even, so overwhelmed was I by the selection. With the online shop, that pressure dissolves. A less harried shopping experience surely will result only in more ringing registers for ANGC.
Aside from the e-commerce trend, the Masters is getting in on the 2020 trend of kitting and care packages to make up for the lack of physical presence at the event.
The $150 “Taste of the Masters” kit includes plastic branded cups, a cookie, chips, popcorn, BBQ pork, pimento cheese and more. It also will be delivered on Nov. 6, so it will be ready in time for fans to enjoy while watching the tournament from home, which starts on the 12th.
That “tailgate from home” theme has been used by other brands while the NFL and NCAA kept fans out of the stands and parking lots this season, and likely will continue as the NBA starts its delayed 2020-21 season.
If this Masters merch shop is as successful as we anticipate, we’d say there’s a good chance they continue this in some form in the future, even once the tournament returns to its usual April date and fans can line the fairways in Augusta.
Limiting purchases to ticket holders keeps that air of exclusivity that has made Masters merchandise so highly coveted, but it also allows people to buy a lot more when they don’t have to worry about carrying it around all day or fitting it in their bags. They’ll still probably buy a hat or a shirt from the merchandise tent, but when they get their annual garden gnome, they’ll want to get that shipped to their door.