Tiger's problems have only worsened over the past few weeks, and they don't seem to be getting better. Accunture has now announced that it no longer wants the golf star to represent its company. Gatorade already had made the same decision and a number of sponsors have "temporarily" pulled the ads featuring Tiger until things quiet down. Tiger makes approximately 90% of his income through such endorsement deals, so this may end up a very big issue. His top endorsements include:
--Nike: a $30-million deal
--Accenture: a $20-million deal
--Gillette: a $15-million deal
--Electronic Arts : an $8-million deal
Nike has the most to lose by Tiger's transgressions because it built its brand around him. Who can forget the ball hovering on the edge of the cup with the Nike symbol clearly in view, and then magically dropping in the hole? Tiger has the Nike symbol on everything he does and he was its top prize.
Tiger states this is a "private matter," but the problem is that he is a very public figure. He has built his brand on being a clean cut, level headed guy, dedicated to family and golf. As he attempts to save his marriage, he has taken a break from golf. But who is he, if not a golfer? There is little reason to endorse him if he is not working.
It is very likely, that sponsors will distance themselves from the fallen hero. And yes, he is just human, but a lot of us -- including a lot of big corporate sponsors -- did not want believe it.
Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro.
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