The Masters golf tournament ended with a young champion who maintained remarkable poise while breaking several records and the hearts of quite a few legends of the sport. Visiting Augusta National is inspiring because of the meticulous attention to detail throughout the beautiful venue, the energy of the crowds, and the talent on display.
But there's more to learn from The Masters than just golf. Below are a few insights from my experience in Augusta last week.
Upon arrival at the gate to the hallowed grounds some spectators were stunned that they could only pass through WITHOUT any mobile devices: no phone, no tablet, no nothing. Some got a little freaky leaving their beloved soul mate behind. It was interesting watching so many people active in the moment out on the course instead of looking down at their device and interacting with people elsewhere.
If Augusta National can require tens of thousands of fans to unplug from their mobile phones, why is it so hard to do at school?
Core Value Proposition
Augusta National focused many years ago on understanding its core value proposition: real estate. They have maximized the design of the course and beauty of the surrounding nature, and have purchased several acres around the facility for parking and logistics. I first attended the Masters back in 1996 and the improvements in parking, traffic flow, and access were greatly improved over the last few decades. All that property and work is used to produce the best possible experience during one week of the year. The leaders of the tournament have adjusted their strategy to produce a focused value proposition, which is a huge advantage to any organization and especially a school.
Safety & Security
Extensive efforts were made to provide for the safety and security of the golfers and the fans. Significant investments were made to prepare, practice, and perform what was necessary to reduce the risks for everyone involved. The steps taken were thorough but not invasive--it looked like they struck a healthy balance. Safety and security remains a critical issue for school leaders and learning from organizations like this is a good idea.
Very few control their brand like Augusta National. Exclusivity is at their core, tightly limiting access to membership, viewership, attendance, and even "spirit wear." To my knowledge, Masters gear can only be purchased at the tournament and they vigorously protect their logos and trademarks. Similarly, your brand marks should be well crafted and protected so that you sustain a consistent image. That means approval is required before rogue shirts are printed that have the wrong colors and font design for your school.
Jordan Spieth won the tournament in record fashion, and the TV viewership also approached highs because so many well known and well liked players made the cut and were vying for the championship on the last day. Great talent is appreciated by your target market as well.