When you think of money at the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, your first instinct may be to think of world famous (and famously wealthy) golfers like Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, and Phil Mickelson.
This year’s golfer who takes home the iconic U.S. Open Trophy will rake in $2.16 million, but this year’s real winner is taking home nearly four-times that amount: the U.S. Open Merchandising tent.
Mary Lopuszynski is the Senior Director, Licensing & U.S. Open Merchandising for the USGA and tells FOX Business, “This year at the U.S. Open we expect to do over eight-figures.”
The $10 million worth of transactions takes place in a 37,000 square-foot pavilion within eyeshot of the first tee at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. The massive pop-up store is open for 11 days, and then at the end of the 11 days, when the U.S. Open Champion is crowned, it goes out of business.
“Typically for the U.S. Open we’ll do about 120,000 transactions in our 11 day period,” Lopuszynski explains. “So it’s like Black Friday in here every day.”
Traditionally popular items during Black Friday are TVs and household appliances, but what’s the merch that flies off the shelves at the U.S. Open merchandising tent? Hats are the number one selling item, Lopuszynski reveals to FOX Business, adding that they typically sell around 100,000 of them per U.S. Open.
Technology helps the USGA track its sales. “Our data and analytics is incredible, we get real time numbers of exactly what we’re selling and we work with our vendors in order to replenish,” Lopuszynski explains. “We can get about 5,000 hats overnight of the bestsellers. Once we see the trends and what people are really gravitating towards in any market for the U.S. Open, we try to replenish those.”
It’s the 118th U.S. Open and eyes are on a Tiger Woods-comeback. Lopuszynski tells FOX Business that when he plays, employees at the merchandising feel the ‘Woods ebb and flow.’ “When he’s out on the golf course, we slow down. When he finishes, things speed up,” Lopuszynski reveals. “He has such a big impact on the eb and flow of our customers.”
To find out more about the ‘Tiger effect’ and which hat Mary Lopuszynski thinks will be this year’s biggest seller, watch the full interview above.