Tickers in this Article: T, IBM, FO, NKE, ELY
This week brings one of the most anticipated and storied traditions in all of golf. Every spring, the PGA Tour kicks off its majors season with the Masters Tournament, golf's most coveted competition. In addition to hosting golf's elites from around the world, the Masters is unique in its unwavering stance on publicity and integrity. Above all else, this particular golf tournament prizes the ideals of the game of golf first and the commercial aspects of the tournament thereafter.

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A Tradition Like No Other
Nevertheless, this is a big week for golf companies and a few other corporate names. The best players in the world, sponsored by the biggest names in golf, are a moving advertising billboards during the tournament. This is very important for major golf brands like Callaway (NYSE:ELY), Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Fortune Brands (NYSE:FO) due to the unique make-up of the televised segments of the Masters. So for these companies, their only hope of commercial exposure is where it should be, on the golf course.

The Big Two
But for an elite couple of corporate titans, the story is different. To preserve the tournament's ideals of golf in its purest form, the Masters Tournament runs with very minimal commercial time. (For related reading, check out 10 Golf Tips To Help Investors Tee Off.)

In the past, the tournament has been able to do this by only having two or three major corporate sponsors. This year, on the tournament website, the logos of AT&T (NYSE:T) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) are the only two currently on display. Both of these titans have been long-time exclusive sponsors, and while they may get minimal airtime each hour, they get it all to themselves. To have that exclusivity for four days, especially this year with Tiger's return, is a huge bonus. (For more, see Play The Market Like Tiger Plays Golf.)

Both AT&T and IBM, through their conservative business practices, share the same ideals as those cherished at Augusta. Both have appealing qualities for investors. AT&T currently sports a very conservative P/E of 12 and a dividend of nearly 7%. IBM is also conservatively valued at 13 times earnings, pays a 2% yield, and is a favorite holding of long-time value investor Bill Miller.

No Fads Here
To suggest that investing in AT&T or IBM because of visibility at an event is a speculative task and not the purpose of this article. Yet corporate sponsors of the Masters Tournament are companies that reflect upon the qualities that are at the core of the tournament's ideals: integrity, conservatism and stewardship. Any business with these core principles is worth a close look. (For related reading, check out The Successful Investment Journey.)

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