Golf balls, shirts and tickets: The financial impact of Tiger’s win

By Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com — When Tiger Woods raised his arms in victory Sunday at the Masters, he knew the financial gain he would take in personally. The winner’s share increased to $2.07 million, up from $1.98 million in 2018, a number that was easily quantifiable.

Sportsbooks across the country also knew the financial impact the incredible win would have on them. Benzinga.com reported that sportsbook William Hill saw its biggest golf loss ever with a bettor winning $1.19 million on an $85,000 bet. Bloomberg reported that Westgate SuperBook lost $100,000 on a bet and FanDuel Sportsbook paid out $3 million from the tournament.

However, as it has been with any Woods win in the past, the financial impact goes beyond himself and gambling to his title sponsors, the tournaments he plays in and the brands involved with those tournaments. Quantifying that is not as easily determined, especially as it comes in one of the most notable wins in recent years.

But some of those brands are already starting to see a boost from Woods’ historic comeback and Masters win, and it starts with how many people watched his victory. According to CBS, the final-round coverage and encore presentation was seen by 37.2 million viewers, a 41 percent increase from 2018’s live-only coverage…

…Nike might not care, but there has already been an impact from the tournament. Woods brought back his iconic mock turtleneck for this year’s Masters, and that version of the Nike Dri-Fit TW Vapor mock turtleneck is sold out on Nike.com in all colors but black, which is available only in a small size.

That shirt received quite a bit of attention on the broadcast as Woods had worn the mock turtleneck earlier in his career and was bringing it back once again at the Masters. Joyce Julius, a company that measures the scope of corporate sponsorships and brand placements, measured the shirt as getting 1 hour, 1 minute and 20 seconds of airtime on the live portion of the broadcast, or 17.4 percent of the entire broadcast length.

Eric Wright, the president and executive director of research at Joyce Julius, believes that number is significant, given how that shirt has become synonymous with Woods.

“There is a huge affinity for that shirt, and there is also a low-grade hatred of that shirt,” Wright said. “But everybody has an opinion on it and everybody is engaged on it, and that’s kind of what Woods is, too. He’s got his detractors, his critics, people that openly root against him, and then he’s got this massive fan base, too.

“But what you have is engagement… If you’re a sports marketer, you want people talking about your person that you’ve chose to endorse your product, and that increases the volume and amount of conversation.”

Wright notes that there are typically three lightning rods for engagement spikes: Tom Brady, LeBron James and Woods. From an exposure standpoint, Wright says it is simply amazing to see the Woods factor rise to levels of when Woods was is in his prime, and potentially even higher if he can continue the success in future tournaments.

And those tournaments stand to gain from that, as well.

The Wells Fargo Championship, played on April 29 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, has not yet gained a commitment from Woods, according to tournament director Gary Sobba, But the tournament is already anticipating an impact if Woods decides to play in the event…