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What every business can learn from The Masters

Yesterday was one of the more historic days in sports. In case you missed it (not sure that’s possible), Tiger Woods won his 15th major championship after an 11 year drought. Not only did he win his 15th, but he won it at arguably the most important major in golf, The Masters. It was a victory that was surreal and nostalgic for many who grew up watching Tiger. It was a victory that signified a career revival in the most dramatic way possible.

Yesterday also brought a number of insights from a business perspective. Here are a few takeaways:

Brand matters more than ever

  • Did you see Nike on TV yesterday? Yes, because they were everywhere. Every single player in the final pairing was wearing Nike. Two other contenders (Brooks Koepka & Dustin Johnson) were also rocking the brand. Nike created an estimated $22.5 million in brand value from Tiger’s win (and likely plenty more due to every golfer being decked to the nines). They apparently sold out apparel by mid-afternoon. What does this tell us? Brand matters more than ever. Being top of mind with your content and mission indirectly (read brand vs. direct marketing here) creates a lasting buzz that can’t be replaced by any direct product push. That’s why Amazon private label is losing. It’s because people live and breathe brands, whether we like it or not.

Niche can become mainstream

  • While golf is one of America’s most beloved sports, it’s (historically) an acquired taste with a very specific target audience. Tiger changed that when he came on the scene 20+ years ago. He took a more niche sport and brought it to the masses, single handedly. No player, and I mean no player, has had more influence on their sport than Tiger Woods. Not Jordan, not Gretzky, no one. Through his personality, intensity, skill, and performances, he made golf great for the casual user, then made it great again yesterday. The learning? Any niche brand can become mainstream if you have the right formula in place and capitalize on the talent around you. Leverage your talent and network to build your brand.

Live where your users live

  • Did you check Twitter during the tournament? Probably, and it’s because the fans were there, making it one of the most viral topics of the weekend (outside of Game of Thrones). Brands need to understand that, whether you like it or not, your users young and old are living in places that they historically haven’t. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is the 65 year old. There are 39 million people aged 65 and older using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. The idea that you don’t need to on platforms cause your user isn’t there (every financial services business) is flawed and old thinking. Reverse engineer it, live where your users live.

Success is not linear

  • Back to Tiger, he’s had some very low points over the last 11 years, including four back surgeries. Eighteen months ago, he said his career was over. Success is not linear. It will have constant ups and downs, but being able to stay the course during the downs is what propels business into a place of lasting legacy. Tiger recognized the issues, got his back right, fixed his swing, worked on his mental, and pushed back to a place where few can say they’ve been. It’s in believing in the process where he’s been able to get to a place he is today.

Consistency in practice propels

  • Google the training regimen of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, or Brooks Koepka. There you will find that these guys train hard, consistently. Day in and day out, they do the things no one else is willing to do to separate them from the pack. The same principle applies to business. Consistency in practice is the only way to build anything sustainable. Consistent content, consistent customer service, consistent product innovation. The practice of doing something consistently, like pushing content, not only helps you put thoughts on paper, but it helps build a brand in whatever space you’re in.

Outside of the fact that #TigerIsBack, yesterday brought many insight that can help shape how you think about your business, career, or otherwise. Now it’s time to execute.

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