For any fan of Golf, or greatness, this weekends Masters was an incredible experience. Unfortunately for the entire Washington D III Men and Women golf conference, we were too busy getting rained on at our fall classic to tune in. Hopefully we were the only ones that were disrespectful enough to miss what was Tiger Woods incredible victory at Augusta National, adding a 5th green jacket to his coveted wardrobe. His last Masters victory was in 2005, and he hasn’t played in the Masters since 2015. Some would call his triumph historic, and the others would be simply wrong.
There is saying in Golf that you can’t win a tournament on Thursday, but you can lose. Tiger hasn’t had a round under 70 on Thursday in any Masters that he has won. In 1997 he shot 70, in 2001 and 2002 (one of two players to boast back to back Masters wins) he fired two 70’s. You can only imagine the rumors when he came in with a 70 last Thursday. Chaos. Is there a connection, some sort of unspoken correlation between these numbers, maybe (absolutely). However, there are statistics that despite the sedition towards the obviously concrete pattern mentioned above, are undeniable, and that is broadcast time.
Termed the “Tiger Effect”, in any event where Tiger Woods is competing, network viewership is up 47%, when Tiger is in the top 25, that number is 98%. This increase is important for brand exposure, since companies advertise on-course and with players clothing, hoping to be captured by the cameras that go to the live network. The Masters is a tournament where advertising is most important. Augusta National is considered a clean course, meaning the only advertisements that viewers will see are going to be from the players clothing. This is when the Tiger Effect is in full swing, since when Tiger is playing, and playing well, he averages over 600 minutes, almost half of the tournaments broadcast time and as much as the rest of the field combined. This means Woods dominates brand exposure, which should be considered exponential, since as more people hear that Tiger is playing well, they will tune in, and when he makes it on the leader board, he’ll get increasingly more broadcast time. If we assume that all the firms that want to advertise in the masters are, and that each player equally represents a firm’s broadcast exposure respectively, then the masters can be a market defined by perfect competition. This market is demolished when Tiger is playing. His sponsor (Nike) receives a massive increase in broadcast time the better he plays, simultaneously decreasing the exposure of other brands. Tiger Woods gave Nike a monopoly on the Masters.