When an appearance fee is worth its weight in gold
If you didn’t already know, Tiger Woods is headed back to Australia later this year to defend his title at the Australian Masters, site of his last professional victory. While it’d be nice to hear that Woods is returning to the country to further interest in the sport and defend his title from last year, we all know that’s not the case. The main reason Woods is making the trip back is because of the ungodly appearance fee he gets for just showing up (from the Sydney Morning Herald).
Tiger Woods is coming back to Melbourne for this year’s Australian Masters but Victorian taxpayers, who are covering part of his appearance fee, will never know how much they’re paying for the privilege, says Victorian Tourism Minister Tim Holding. Mr Holding said revealing the figure would give interstate governments and other locations the chance to match or exceed the bid and lure the star from Victoria. “[Tiger’s fee] won’t be made public,” he told Radio 3AW. ‘‘We work very hard to secure these events and we don’t want to bid the price up by disclosing the exact amounts.’’ It is understood Woods commands a $3 million appearance fee. It was widely reported the Victorian government paid $1.5 million of the golfer’s fee last year, despite Mr Holding saying today the exact amount would not be made public. The tournament prize money last year was $270,000.
Let’s think about that for a second. A $3 million appearance fee means Woods makes $750,000 per round when he’s playing. That’s only $60,000 less than what Lee Westwood earned for finishing second this year at the 2010 Masters. It’s shocking to think that Tiger makes this much from one appearance fee, and that the government and the tax paying public have to foot the bill.
That is until you see what $3 million dollars gets you:
He said the expense was ‘‘infinitesimal’’ compared to the economic benefit which flowed the Woods’ appearance, with audited figures showing his performance at last year’s Australian Masters earned the state $34 million, exceeding forecasts by more $15 million.
$3 million gets you $34 million. I’d say that’s a pretty good return on your investment! Maybe there’s a reason why countries are clamoring to have Tiger play in their event after all.