The snack bars – sorry, ‘concessions’ – at the Masters are the stuff of legend, partly for popular items like the pimento cheese sandwich, but mostly for the cheap prices that don’t resemble any other sporting event in our part of the world.
It’s clear Augusta National cares more about the patrons having a pleasurable experience than making money when it comes to on-course dining. With merchandise, however, it’s a different story.
It’s not that Masters merch is a rip-off, but it’s more in line with what you see at other sporting events. And if you’ve been to the event, you know that Augusta National does one heckuva business.
It still might surprise you, though, to learn just how much business it does during this one week in April.
A tweet from sports business content producer Joe Pompliano has gotten a lot of traction this week and for good reason. The numbers that Pompliano posted in a thread about various Masters revenue streams were reported by Forbes’ Justin Teitelbaum ahead of the 2022 tournament, but they remain just as eye-popping:
So in the time it took for you to read to hear, Augusta National made another $US16,000. The club makes about $1 million every hour, $10 million every day, and $70 million for the week. Average that out for an entire year and we’re talking $3.5 billion with a “B.” That’s $1 billion more than popular clothing outlet J.Crew does! Talk about raking it in.
Of course, part of the reason why the Masters makes so much off its own logoed polos – which are produced by outside brands like Peter Millar – is because you can only buy them this week. In person.
It’s why you see people walking around lugging giant bags filled with apparel – we heard of someone spending $US36K(!) last year – after picking up something, anything for every family member and acquaintance.
And why you see such long lines just to get into the main merchandise shop – before patrons shuffle through more lines inside that are reminiscent of Disney World rides. And why you see things like Masters garden gnomes going for big bucks on eBay.
You get the point. This stuff is just hard to come by.
By the way, the Forbes story estimates the Masters still makes $US8 million from concessions despite those reasonable prices. But the merch makes up about half of the tournament’s total revenue. And if you listen real closely, you might just hear an army of cash registers ringing every second the event goes on.
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