April 12, 2022
With the return of Tiger Woods to the Masters this year, we decided to do an analysis of the advertising that got the most airtime throughout the weekend and highlight some viewership trends from the big weekend in Georgia.
The Masters is one of the more interesting high profile sporting events, unlike other TV and advertising phenomenon’s such as the Super bowl, World Series or the March Madness Final Four weekend. It is multiday and has different tiers of participants which makes it an interesting event to watch for viewership trends. The Masters also allots very little time for advertisements all weekend long; this holds true even on all media types, including streaming platforms. The Masters adopts a model where only sponsors of the tournament get to advertise approximately four minutes per hour of programming. Sponsors this year were the same as the previous year with AT&T, IBM and Mercedes Benz paying for the privilege to air their short advertisements.
Looking solely at the viewership data for the final round on Sunday, we found that viewership peaked at almost 30 million live viewers around 6:55pm EST, just minutes before Scottie Scheffler completed the 18th hole to secure his win after the 4 rounds last weekend. We could see that viewership gradually increased as the afternoon went on, starting with about 500,000 viewers at 2pm and more households continued to tune in closer to the end of the tournament.
Two very interesting points to note that we saw in our data, were watching for trends related to Tiger Woods time on the screen. On Sunday, Tiger finished golfing at 2:58pm EST, while the lead and final group of golfers competing for the title teed off at 2:40pm EST. Between 2:40pm and 3:00pm viewership jumped over 500k within a ten-minute span. This can be attributed to the fact that Tiger Woods placement in the tournament was already determined ahead of his final few holes to play, and he had been a focal point of the tournament in rounds 2 and 3 for the rest of the weekend
Finally, the only time we saw viewership significantly drop was after 6:25pm EST, when it was evident that Scottie Scheffler would likely clinch the win in the tournament. This dip in viewership did not sustain for long, as more households tuned back in to see Scheffler complete the 18th hole.
Ads and Sponsors
IBM was the sponsor that aired the most ads on CBS on Sunday between 3 and 7pm, with the most ads occurrences airing 4 different creatives. IBM took the route of tying their creatives to a golf theme. Their most aired creative highlights their AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities while partnering with the Masters to provide new stats and tracer technology after each shot and comparing it to how AI can help individual businesses.
Mercedes chose to air 5 different creatives, all highlighting new electric versions of their more classic car models such as this ad highlighting the capabilities of the new electric G Wagon series.
And AT & T took the star-studded approach featured actress Eva Longoria getting a virtual golf lesson from golf Pros Nancy Lopez and Ben Crenshaw.
Sprinkled in with the sponsored ads, we also saw a few airings from Rolex, Allstate and Geico among the top advertisers for Sunday’s final round.