This week I went on the Making Media podcast to talk about one of my favorite topics: merch. I realized how much I love this stuff as we chatted about the Domino’s Rolex, the iconic banker bag and of course the merch shop at the Masters.
Like everything else at the tournament the merch operation at the Masters is unrivaled. The shop (which is shockingly huge and very obviously moving a container ship’s worth of branded merch per day) is one of the most frenzied consumer environments I have ever experienced. Many speculate on the sales volume and it’s safe to assume it rivals the GDP of several mid-tier global economies. The last time I attended the tournament I bought a Tervis Tumbler and two small things for my kids and I remember feeling insecure about how little I was buying.
The average customer receipt at the Masters has to rival a Loro Piana boutique — except Augusta is doing at least 1000x the volume. The whole thing is legitimately bonkers and I always look forward to Geoff Shackelford’s annual Masters merch round-up to see what’s new each year. Even Coggins has admitted to jumping through at least one more hoop than normal to buy his green Masters rope hat. Adding to the craziness in Augusta is the fact that nothing is sold online —you have to be physically at the tournament to buy the merch. This limitation has created a massive gray-market on eBay seemingly orchestrated by a professional network of men in Nike Monarchs.