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Playing With Tiger Is Worth Millions 

Tiger Woods hits a shot as fans look on during a practice round prior to the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
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Tiger Woods hits a shot as fans look on during a practice round prior to the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

There’s little doubt that this week’s Masters in Augusta, Ga., will be the most-watched golf tournament of all-time.

It’s obviously focused on Tiger Woods and his comeback, and that means that those playing with Woods will get significant exposure for their corporate sponsors.

Given Woods tee off times at 1:42 p.m. ET on Thursday and 10:35 a.m. ET on Friday, sponsors of those playing with Woods will get the equivalent of $1.35 million in television advertising time, according to Eric Wright of sponsorship evaluation company, Joyce Julius & Associates.

Matt Kuchar, who will be playing with Woods, wears a Bridgestone golf hat and has a Bridgestone logo on his left front chest pocket. Kuchar also has a Marquis Jet logo on his right sleeve. He wears the logo of health insurance company Humana on his back.

K.J. Choi has an SK Telecom logo on his left sleeve and on his right chest pocket. He also has logos for something called SGF Superior, with Korea’s Shinhan Bank on his golf bag. Choi now wears a visor with the flag of South Korea after he lost his Nike deal.

So could a smart company strike a last minute deal to capitalize on the exposure?

It’s possible, says Patrick McGee, president of sports marketing firm ProVentures, who is known for placing last minute patch deals on those playing stars in tennis matches. But, he admits, it’s not common in the golf world.

If Woods is in the final couple pairings and all his golf is shown live on the weekend, the sponsors of the golfer Woods is playing with could get as much as $5.6 million in equivalent advertising exposure on Saturday and as much as $8.7 million on Sunday, Wright said.

The numbers could have been so much bigger had Augusta National not severely restricted the live coverage of its broadcasters.

Between ESPN and CBS , there are only 14 hours and 30 minutes of the Masters that are scheduled to be broadcast live. ESPN is live on from 4-7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday and CBS will broadcast live on Saturday from 3:30-7p.m. ET and on Sunday from 2-7 p.m. ET.

Even those who have played with Woods so far this week have gotten a nice bump for their sponsors.

During Monday’s practice round, Woods played with Fred Couples. Couples hat with a Bridgestone and Ecco logos on it got plenty of exposure in the papers and on the Internet. So too will shots of Mark O’Meara, who Woods played with on Tuesday. O’Meara was wearing a Titleist hat and a shirt with a Lexus logo on it.

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