Web Smith is a leading writer on ecommerce. In a classic piece titled On Linear Commerce, Smith explains how the lines between media and commerce are blurring.
To illustrate his point, Smith writes about his experience at the Masters golf tournament (AKA the Super Bowl of golf).
Rabid fans + a historic golf course = captive audience ready to spend
Held in Augusta, Georgia, the Masters attracts 160k+ visitors (called “patrons”) over the course of a weekend and — per Smith’s analysis of the 2018 tournament — the average attendee spends $700 on merch with total sales hitting $60-70m.
But with the pandemic madness, how does “a tradition unlike any other” — which kicked off yesterday, sans patrons — maintain its air of exclusivity?
By launching its first-ever virtual Masters shop.
For patrons only — not us plebes
In addition to access to Masters-branded staples like golf shirts, cuff links, and umbrellas, 2020 ticket-holders receive tickets to next year’s tourney at this year’s price…
… and the opportunity to buy the glorious-sounding “Taste of the Masters” food platter, which gets you 1lb of the event’s famous pimento cheese, as well as its egg salad and pulled pork BBQ for a mere $150.
The Masters also did a solid for non-ticket holders, releasing new viewing functionality on the website and app called My Groups.
Even without the on-course roars IRL, The Masters is still running a, err, masterclass in linear commerce.
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