Things appear to be moving quickly in the saga of Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin. The result could be that she sets Tiger free -- for a price: She gets up to $500 million and her own sponsorship deal, and he goes back to playing golf -- and playing the field.
Not surprisingly, given her recent appearance sans wedding ring at the gas pump, Elin looks like she's signaling that she's had it with Tiger, according to MSNBC. And I'm guessing there are very few women who would stand by their man after a baker's dozen alleged extra-marital dalliances came to light.
It remains to be seen how much this will cost Tiger. With his $1 billion net worth, in some states Tiger could get his freedom for a mere $500 million. But with their pre-nuptial agreement, the amount of the settlement could be far less. The final answer depends on how long they want to pay their respective lawyers to fight about it.
Meanwhile the loyalty of Nike (NKE) -- which so far is standing by its man -- may be fueling the creativity of its rival, Puma (PMMAF). According to TMZ, Elin may be close to a sponsorship deal of her own with Puma for a Swedish-inspired clothing line called Tretorn. And speaking of Sweden, according to the New York Daily News, Elin has reportedly bought a house on an island off the coast of Stockholm, where she may whisk away with the children.
Finally, there's Tiger. According to MSNBC, he has allegedly been spending between $5,000 and $20,000 a month to keep some of the women with whom he's had relations from talking to the press. I am guessing that Tiger concluded that the damage from what they might tell the press would be far more costly.
But there's no reason that he couldn't go back to playing golf. He would still be great for the ratings, especially considering that the last time he was gone from golf, tournament viewership fell 50%. I'd even imagine that the publicity surrounding the recent events would bring huge numbers of new viewers to the sport.
And if he resumed winning, eventually corporate sponsors -- the ones that are less interested in projecting a squeaky clean, family image -- would seek him out for deals. He could even resume his other activities, this time as a single man.