The Masters: Unique In So Many Ways- Jamie Salmon
By iSportconnect | March 12, 2012
In a few weeks the procession down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National Golf Club will once again be in full flow, as well as in full bloom. The first major of the year will soon be upon us and the golfing world will gather to see who will win the first major championship of 2012.
The Masters is utterly different to any other major, let alone tour event. Firstly, it is the only major that never changes where the tournament is played, less than 100 players will tee off as opposed to 156 that normally search for a major win and whoever comes out on top is allowed to wear a green jacket rather than lift a silver trophy or claret jug. There are no spectators, only patrons and the opening shots on Thursday will be made by official starters that go by the name of Nicklaus, Palmer and Player who collectively have won 13 green jackets between them. The course itself is wonderful to look at, though unexpectedly hilly when you walk it and the greens slope unbelievably. The poor caddies in their Augusta white boiler suits carry 40lbs on their backs.
There are no sponsors just official partners and no signage to promote your brand is permitted anywhere on the course or any other area of the club. The official partners are also not allowed to promote their association with the event within the USA, only overseas. Media accreditation is limited to one journalist per publication, if you are lucky enough to have the publication itself accredited.
We have a team of ten going to support two of our clients, who are official partners of the tournament and our event team will go out a full ten days before the tournament actually starts. As ever, accommodation is difficult to find and not cheap, traffic is London like (though as one of our clients is the international automobile partner it certainly helps that we get around in one of their courtesy cars) and the crowds are huge. However, it is the ‘official partners areas’ that make The Masters the perfect and ultimate setting to conduct business, meet the press, host clients and colleagues. They are not erected tents or hastily arranged structures just for the week, but actually permanent houses and where at the back of the house runs the first manicured fairway of Augusta National Golf Club. As the picture below shows, they look great from the outside and they are just as impressive on the inside.
As ever, it will be frantic for our PR team on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday co-ordinating media/broadcast interview requests and picture opportunities before the invited client guests arrive in ‘the house’ for the event itself, which starts on Wednesday for the Par 3 competition. As well as client guests, we also host a few members of the media each day and they may strike lucky if one of the brand ambassadors is in having lunch at the same time after his round.
If one of our client’s ambassadors is among the leaders come the week-end, then expectation grows and nervous smiles abound hoping that he reaches the top on Sunday night and will pop in wearing a green jacket.
Never mind that we are all going to be away for the whole Easter weekend because I can’t think of a better place to be on the day before Good Friday than watching Arnie, Jack and Gary standing on the first tee of Augusta National Golf Club about to drive off.