Selling does not require selling out

Could Augusta's tradition-laden Masters Golf Tournament be a model for doing business with more brand integrity:

Richard Gillis writes in today's Irish Times:

No advertising boards are permitted around the tees or greens, allowing spectators (known as patrons at Augusta) an uncluttered view of the players. There are no agents or other hangers-on inside the ropes to get in the way.

Other features of the event, such as the winner being fitted for the green jacket in the Butler cabin, have been going on since well before it was covered on television. This sense of tradition informs the attitude of the Masters committee to today’s commercialised world: you do what we want or you don’t come in.

CBS, a giant in US broadcasting, is treated like just another service provider. It has been going cap in hand to Augusta every year since 1956 to renegotiate its year-on-year contract. When star commentator Gary McCord described the greens as having been “bikini waxed”, it offended the committee’s sensibilities to the extent he was not allowed to cover the tournament again.

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