Skip to content

The Masters – A Lesson in Golf and Branding

Over the past few years, I haven't had much time to watch or play golf. The TV in our house these days is more often than not a series of Minecraft hacks and YouTube videos from Mr Beast. 😉

However, watching the Masters this weekend, I felt a renewed connection to what used to be a prized hobby.

The winds on Friday at Augusta National were astonishing and they certainly set the stage for a thrilling showdown of endurance among the best of the best and kickstarted the leaderboard ahead of the weekend. Amen Corner, infamous for its testing challenge that has taunted many a golfer, did not disappoint. It played its usual role in reshuffling the contenders, but I was thrilled to see Scottie Scheffler claim the iconic green jacket for the second time in three years.

But why am I talking about golf, and what does it have to do with marketing?

Well, while watching, I noticed a few things (and of course couldn’t help but relate them to my other love – marketing):

Branding: My lapse in regularly watching the golf – partly due to time and partly due to its shift from BBC to subscription-based viewing — means I know I’m catching up later on this one. Yet, I was instantly struck by the strategic placement of the Nike Swoosh on the back right shoulder of the golfers' shirts. This off-centre positioning is not just visible but dominates the frame at the end of (almost) every swing, the perfect spot to be seen in footage and maximising brand visibility. It sure is prime real estate!

It's a clever move, and I'm surprised it wasn't adopted sooner, especially considering Tiger Woods's long-standing sponsorship of 27 years!

Endorsements: Speaking of Tiger Woods, his recent brand shift provided another significant insight. After a long and lucrative association (in 2013, his most recent contract was signed for 10 years and $200 million), Woods and Nike parted ways earlier this year.

Stepping onto the first tee at the 2024 Masters, Tiger sported a fresh new look pairing up with TaylorMade, and unveiling his new 'Sun Day Red' brand.

Now, at Instinct we do love a good brand story and we sure like the story behind this one!

'Sun Day Red' is a narrative of Tiger's remarkable achievements and a tribute to a career that has inspired millions. The design features a 15-striped tiger emblem, symbolising his 15 major wins, and pays homage to his tradition of wearing red on Sundays.

Woods states on his website, "Sun Day Red embodies a love of playing and competing. It's for those who share these values, on the course or in life, putting the athlete first in our product decisions."

The brand is set to officially launch on 1st May 2024, and we are eager to see how it will influence Tiger Woods's next chapter. 

The importance of strategy and tactics: Just as in golf, where strategy and tactics determine whether a player leads or follows, marketing requires strategic planning and execution. The design of a logo, the timing of a new brand launch, or the choice of an endorser are all strategic decisions that can significantly affect a brand's visibility and success. In golf, every shot counts, and in marketing, every touchpoint with the customer can make (or break) a brand's success. Both demand foresight, adaptability, and precision — qualities essential for success in today’s competitive environment.

In marketing, skill, strategy, and storytelling are all part of the game. As we've seen, the ability to craft and execute a clear strategy, make winning shots when it matters, adapt and stay the course result in victories on the golf course, but this also rings true in the marketplace.

At Instinct, we continue to champion these principles, connecting businesses and customers through powerful storytelling, and strategic marketing.