When news of Tiger Woods’ car accident broke in 2009, the world worried about this world-class golfer. Was he drunk? Hurt? Could he still play? Did it cost him his career?
At the time, he was the highest-paid athlete of any sport earning around $100 million annually to represent or promote brands like Accenture; AT&T; his PGA Tour Golf game; Gillette; Nike; Gatorade; TLC Laser Eye Centers; and Golf Digest. He appeared to be an ideal celebrity spokesperson.
His social attractiveness was contagious since he loves his mom while his dad taught him golf as a toddler. He represented hope for many as a realistic success story as someone who aggressively yet calmly pursues dreams. His megawatt smile highlighted a face everyone loved.
Married, with children, to gorgeous Elin Nordegren, he seemed untainted by celebrity. Tiger’s intelligence and intense concentration on the green, with his charming sense of humor, convinced us of his trustworthy good will.
Then we learned Tiger’s good willie sinking hole in ones along the PGA tour sparked the argument resulting in the crash. He quickly lost control of his image as unrelenting scandal built daily. Tiger was caged.
Supporting fans shielded Tiger, insisting that his private life is not our business. However, his image is what businesses banked on so when the scandal grew quickly to unreasonable levels, they pulled out. Some threatened breach of contract. Accenture, a technology consulting firm and golf tournament sponsor, was first to leave, others followed – including Elin.
Tiger lost his family, property and about $180 Million in cancelled sponsorships. He rendered himself insignificant by temporarily withdrawing from the sport. Ouch! But, what about the companies he promoted?
Would you believe if I told you the companies wound up losing $12 Billion! With a B! Thanks to an immediate dive in stocks and such, the drop was significant.
Now, Tiger’s back, but has he changed his stripes? Some sponsors gave him a mulligan, while others refuse. His financial portfolio rebuilds quickly, having received close to $65 million in endorsements in 2013. Meanwhile, the sponsors’ companies continue to recover.
Does this change how you view the Paula Deen fallout? Did golf need a scandal for increased interest?
Anonymous, (2009, Dec. 4). Tiger Woods Scandal Cost Shareholders up to $12 Billion. Press Release: UC Davis Graduate School of Management. Retrieved from http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/news-release/tiger-woods-scandal-cost-shareholders-12-billion
“Tiger Woods,” (2013, June). Earnings. Forbes.com, Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/profile/tiger-woods/
Venezia, T, Fanelli, J, & Sanders, H. (2009, Dec. 13). Tiger to Suffer a ‘$180M’ Slice. NY Post. Retrieved from http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/tiger_to_suffer_ashEvFQnFsG4EKGuaCCDML
MANY PHOTOS: Time Photos Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1966486_2077716,00.html