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Augusta turns down hundreds of millions of dollars


Augusta National is so unique in so many different ways, not least of which because its mindset is unlike anything else we see in sports nowadays.

How so? We’ve written a lot about how cheap all the delicious food is at Augusta National, but on the For The Win podcast on Tuesday, my colleague Ted Berg asked a simple question: Why?

That question, in many ways, was answered by Ron Sirak in his deeply informative 2015 Golf Digest article, explaining how the tournament works. It’s a fascinating read, and one that’s well worth your time.

“After the Masters, CBS sends an invoice to Augusta National, and they check it out and get the money from their corporate partners to cover production costs,” says the source.

It continued:

That means that IBM, AT&T and Mercedes-Benz pay about $6 million to $8 million each in exchange for four minutes of advertising time per hour-about one-third of the commercial interruptions of other sporting events. Rolex and UPS are the corporate partners for the international broadcast. “If they ever opened up the [domestic TV] bidding, it would absolutely be worth more than the U.S. Open, but that’s never going to happen,” said the source, referring to the $93-million-a-year, 12-year deal the USGA signed with Fox Sports in 2013. “There was talk back when the Masters went without sponsors during the Martha Burk controversy [2003-’04] that it might go to pay-per-view,” the source said. “If they did, they could get $100 for the weekend and get two million to three million buys. Do the math on that. But they’re never going to leave CBS.”

In all they make somewhere in the region in $30 million in profit from hosting the Masters, which is then reinvested things like buying property to improve the course’s…

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