by: Brett Hershman, Benzinga Staff Writer
Nike Inc NKE 0.47% may have exited the golf equipment business,but the brand is still as relevant as ever in the sport. Nike emerged as the clear winner of the 2018 Masters Tournament from an endorsement standpoint, according to a study of the event's marketing impact.
Nike endorser and eventual winner Patrick Reed introduced himself to the world with his compelling victory, holding off many of the world’s most high profile stars. Rory McIlroy, the heir to the Nike golf throne, joined Reed in the final group on Sunday, ensuring an endorsement victory for the brand. Tiger Woods' first Masters since 2015 certainly didn’t hurt, although he faltered before the weekend.
All in all, Nike received nearly $175 million in sponsor media value, according to a new report from GumGum Sports, dwarfing its closest competitor Under Armour Inc UAA 0.67%, which received considerable coverage from Jordan Spieth’s remarkable run, firing a 64 at Augusta on Sunday.
The Masters, consistently hailed as the best-run tournament in the sport, presents a unique opportunity for sponsors to amplify their brands given the lack of signage and corporate sponsorships that are typically present at a big-time sporting event.
“Compared to other events, The Masters really gives a full share of voice to the player and their endorsements because you don’t see the presence of signage on the course itself,” GumGum CEO Jeff Katz told Benzinga.
Top 5 Sponsors At The Masters By Media Value
- Nike: $175 Million
- Under Armour: $51 Million
- Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport PMMAF 0.2%: $26 Million
- adidas (AG) (ADR) ADDYY 0.29%: $24 Million
- TaylorMade: $24 Million
While Nike fared exceptionally well at the 2018 Masters, Katz said that if Woods had been in contention Sunday, Nike’s media value would have skyrocketed.
“Tiger Woods lifted the overall ratings of the event, but once the event started it became more about his performance. Yes, he gets more coverage than the rest, but if he was at the top of the pack, his value would have been immensely higher for Nike."
Across TV and social media, GumGum Sports tracked over 74,000 seconds of exposure that drove an estimated $500 million in media value across 64 brands the company tracked. On social media, Instagram was the most valuable platform for sponsorship value, affirming the app's importance to influential branding.
The front of the hat is clearly the most valuable placement in golf sponsorships, generating an estimated $174 million in media value, followed by shirt chest branding with $148 million and shirt sleeves with $45 million.
Non-Golf Brands Shine
While golf brands clearly led the pack, non-golf endemic brand and Patrick Reed sponsor The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. ULTI 0.99% was the seventh-most valuable sponsor during the tournament, driving $45 million in media value, according to GumGum Sports. Shares of the cloud computing company gained 2 percent after Reed’s victory.
Mutual of Omaha also fared well and was ranked as the 10th-most valuable endorser in the tournament, driven by the hat sponsorship of Henrik Stenson, who finished in fifth place.
“With non-sports related brands that are starting to see the benefit of sponsoring these golfers, I think we will see more non-golf endemic brands take an association with golf,” Katz said.
© 2018 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.