If you’ve ever been to the Masters Golf Tournament at the oh-so-traditional Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.,then you know that for all the prestige and money represented, there’s precious little visible commercialism. It’s but one of the charms of the venerable golf club.
Food tents are tucked away in stands of trees, as unobtrusive as possible. You sorta have to search to find them. Brands names of soft drinks are covered up on the dispensing machines, and the choice of sandwiches is basic: pimento cheese or ham and cheese on ordinary bread with few trimmings, and barbecue on a bun. They come in plain plastic bags. That’s about it. If you want a soft drink, order a cola. You’ll get a Coke.
There are no ads for anything anywhere on the course – just the green green grass of Augusta accented by azalea blossoms. It’s quite beautiful.
But, there are souvenirs to be had – sold at just a few spots at Augusta National. However, if you are one of thousands who cannot score Masters tickets (not many do), you still can purchase official Masters merchandise thanks to the Internet.
Two Web sites have arrangements with the pro shop at Augusta National whereby you place your order on their Web site, they send the order to the pro shop and you get your licensed cap or whatever it is you want. A third site apparently has a buyer on site at Augusta National.
The point is this: You can’t go to the mall sporting goods store and pick up licensed Masters merchandise. You buy it in Augusta, during the Masters. Or, now, you can buy it online through these dealers, during the Masters. Not a bad deal at all for golf fanatics.
Tomorrow in Retail Strategies, we’ll look at some of the loot (uh, official merchandise) available for purchase.