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| 1 minute read

Augusta National – Masters of Growing the Brand

With the Masters starting this Thursday (11 April 2024), we are certainly in for four days of world class golf on one of the most renowned golf courses on the planet. Behind the scenes though, Augusta National are also giving a masterclass in sports branding, which has helped to elevate the Masters tournament to its iconic status with sports fans globally.  

In the lead up to the Masters, I’ve taken a look at just a small sample of the intellectual property associated with the ‘Traditional Unlike Any Other’, and how Augusta National having been leveraging the IP. 

The iconic green jacket, awarded to the winner of each Masters Tournament, isn't just the most highly coveted jacket in sports; it's also an example of Augusta National’s intellectual property. Crafted from a specific Pantone 342 green, this green jacket is also the subject of an image trade mark (US 6,000,045).

Unsurprisingly, Augusta National also has registered trade marks including "Masters", "Augusta National," and "Amen Corner”. What may be slightly more surprising is the list of goods and services such trade marks are applied to; from clothing and golf equipment, to chocolate bars, computer programs and transportation services. Therefore, this is great example of how widely Augusta National like to apply their brands, and ensure opportunities for brand exposure are maximized. 

Augusta national also demonstrates an excellent understanding of how lucrative the rights to broadcast the tournament around the world are, also using this as an opportunity to enhance their brand image. While national broadcasters may fight fiercely to secure the rights to show footage of the tournament, Augusta National maintains a degree of control over the manner in which the tournament is presented in all licensing deals. This includes limitations on the number of type of advertisements shown during broadcasts, allowing the presentation of the Masters tournament to be a ‘cleaner’, more refined viewing experience; in line with the brand. This even extends to Wednesday’s par three contest.

Therefore, from even this small sample of examples we can see the Masters tournament isn't just one of the best annual sporting spectacles; but also it's also a prime example of how intellectual property plays a vital role in protecting, preserving and enhancing the traditions, image, and prestige of an iconic sporting event. 

It is Augusta National’s keen understanding of what their brand is, and how it should be protected, that has helped the Masters grow to the global sporting phenomenon it is today.


brands & trade marks, commercial ip & contracts, copyright, yes