Thursday December 7, 2023

Matsuyama Won Much More Than the Masters

  • Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship with his Masters victory on Sunday.
  • The win could net him hundreds of millions in endorsement money.
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Hideki Matsuyama just won over $2 million in prize money, and could have hundreds of millions more coming in endorsements.

Matsuyama donned the green jacket after his victory at the Masters on Sunday, becoming the first Japanese man to win a golf major.

The win solidifies his rockstar status in Japan, and comes at an opportune time for the country’s golf industry: Interest in the sport surged during the pandemic, particularly among young people. 

Estimates of how much the victory will be worth for Matsuyama’s brand reach as high as $1 billion in endorsement money.

Matsuyama was already bringing in $8 million to $10 million in endorsements from his work with Lexus, golf-focused sports equipment brand Srixon, and financial holding company Nomura Securities, among others.

The PGA Tour had designs on growing its brand in Asia prior to the pandemic, with Matsuyama a key part of that push. 

The win is well-timed in another way. Tokyo will host the summer Olympics in just a few months, and Matsuyama could carry the Olympic flag in the green jacket.

Matsuyama joins Hisako Higuchi, who won the 1977 LPGA Championship, and Hinako Shibuno, winner of the 2019 Women’s British Open, as PGA champions from Japan.

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