With round one of Masters 2013 underway, tickets for the famous tournament in Augusta, Ga., are still being sold online today.
Though the media reports that prices on web sites like StubHub have reached $3,000 to $4,000 today, some badges were being sold earlier this week for as high as $10,000.
The sums of money golf fans are willing to pay this year are nearly unprecedented, only seen the first time Woods made his appearance as a professional in the late 90′s, Kenneth Wisnefski a branding expert, CEO and founder of WebiMax, told ABC News.
“It’s 100 percent related to Tiger,” said Wisnefski. “When he played well years ago, it was at a different level than people have ever seen. They were able to see that level of brilliance up close and people who didn’t go thought ‘Wow, we missed the opportunity to see it up close.”
He went on, adding that people are jumping at the chance to see Woods be great again: “That’s why it’s a huge ticket and why people are so buzzed about it.”
The high prices for tickets can be explained by corporate spending is returning in a better economy, Robert Tuchman, president of sports marketing company Goviva told reporters. But Woods is clearly the big draw.
“Tiger Woods is great for the business itself, from selling products on TV and even badge prices at the Masters, he has a direct link to the business itself. A lot of it has to do with people believing he can contend for another green jacket this year,” Tuchman said.
Though some tickets are reaching incredible sums of money, Rick Spehn, a Minnesota resident who usually attends the Masters, says he would never pay tens of thousands to watch the tournament. Spehn just returned from watching the practice rounds of the Masters.
“I was out there two years ago and Tiger was just coming out of that mess. He’s always had the highest draw, and it was that way again this year,” Spehn said. “The real star is the golf course itself. They could put 20 third graders out there, I’d go see it.”
As Wisnefsky said, there’re people who are ready to pay money not just to watch the Woods; game, but the loyalty to see Woods play is all in his branding.
“It’s interesting to see a sports figure rehabilitate their brand and do something even companies can’t do. When looking at a sports figure, good play will trump anything,” Wisnefski said.
Tiger Woods has recently won the title of the world’s No.1 ranked golfer after his Bay Hill win. Its the 11th time in his career and the first one since October, 2010, Woods now first in the Official World Golf Ranking.
It marked the 77th win for Tiger on the PGA TOUR, who trails only Snead with 82, reports Tiger Woods. com. It was also his third stroke play third triumph in four starts this season and his sixth in his last 19 events.