What happens to Masters merchandise when there are no fans?
The 2020 rendition of the Masters will mark many firsts, but the most stark reminder that we are truly witnessing a tournament unlike any other (besides the November date and fall foliage) is the absence of patrons, to use the club’s parlance for the estimated 40,000 spectators who roam the grounds of the club each day.
Those patrons, in addition to being largely responsible for the annual boon to the local Augusta economy, are also avid shoppers when it comes to grabbing up Augusta National souvenirs. Though ANGC keeps the tournament’s financial details largely under lock and key, several outlets have estimated the club’s merchandise revenue to be in the $50 million range — a sum that exceeds the club’s take on ticket sales and concessions combined, according to Nasdaq.com.
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So what happens in this strange year, when the lottery-winning Masters ticket-holders won’t be allowed on the property? With typical ingenuity, Augusta National came up with a brilliant solution: the creation of the first-ever online merchandise shop, dubbed the Masters Patron Shop, which is accessible only to 2020 ticket holders for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Masters.
The shop, which includes logo’ed apparel, collectibles and unique gifts will be open for orders until Sunday, November 15. And just in case you’re wondering how to coerce your ticket-holding friends (or strangers) to place an order for you, be warned: each ticket-holding shopper is limited to only two transactions, so shop and strategize wisely!
Given Augusta’s secretive nature when it comes to financials, we’ll probably never know if this year’s sales will be in any way comparable to years past, but an unhurried, online shopping experience that no longer requires a physical carry to the register to check out just may turn out to be a bigger hit than anyone anticipated.