Branding the World of Sports

Endorsement Profile: Tiger Woods

Posted by ZA on December 3, 2009

Athlete: Tiger Woods
Sport: Golf
League: PGA
Agent: Mark Steinberg (IMG)
Age: 33 (December 30, 1975)
Rank in SI’s 50 richest athletes:  1st
Endorsement value:  $105,000,000.00

Tiger Woods endorsement deals (thru Nov. 2009):
* AT&T
* Gatorade (Pepsico)
* Gillette (Procter & Gamble)
* EA Sports (Electronic Arts)
* NetJets
* Nike Golf
* Tag Heuer
* TLC Vision Corporation
* Upper Deck

Tiger Woods endorsement potential:
Tiger Woods is the top athlete endorser in the world today.  He is the Cadillac of athlete endorsements (even if he occasionally drives erratically in his own Escalade).  Every major corporation wants him, but few can afford him.  Woods has even surged past sports brand icon Michael Jordan in-terms of earnings; Tiger is first athlete in sports to earn more than $1 billion dollars in their career.  Much of that money comes from the rich endorsement deals that Tiger has had for over a decade.

Tiger’s endorsement history is legendary, starting with a $40 million contract from Nike when he turned pro in 1996.  Tiger basically made Nike Golf what it is today and Phil Knight rewarded him handsomely with a $100 million extension in 2006.  Tiger has become the driving force behind Nike Golf, even as they have added other big name golfers to their endorsement stable (i.e.- Stewart Cink, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard).  Woods is a poster boy for their product line, having dropped his lucrative Titleist sponsorship when he switched to play a Nike golf ball.

Much of Woods appeal as an endorsement star has to do with his phenomenal ability on the golf course.  Tiger grabbed the sport of golf by the throat and has not yet let go; in a sport with some of the biggest endorsement stars on the planet (Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer) Tiger is the king.  It only helps that golf’s demographic is one that appeals to the bluest of blue chip companies; businesses that want their product featured (by Tiger Woods) to that affluent golf crowd.  Tiger’s so marketable that even his caddy, Steve Williams, has grabbed endorsement deals with Nike and Valvoline.  Let that sink in for a second…even Tiger Woods’ caddy has major corporations paying him money to endorse their product.

Perhaps the truest test of Tiger Woods endorsement appeal is understood by looking at the list of corporations that he used to endorse.  Tiger’s former deals with Accenture, American Express, Buick, General Mills, Titleist and Rolex would be the envy of most athletes, yet Woods has just moved on to bigger, more lucrative deals.

Tiger Woods has truly changed the game in-terms of endorsement deals.  Like Jordan did before him, Woods seeks out “business partnerships” rather than just contractual endorsement deals.  He is setting the standard today on how athletes and sponsors partner up.  His deals are making sports stars, like Tiger, more money from corporate sponsors than they have ever earned before.

Tiger Woods commercial for Nike Golf:

[Edit: Accenture dropped their endorsement deal with Tiger Woods in December 2009 – a few days after this post]

9 Responses to “Endorsement Profile: Tiger Woods”

  1. Julie said

    I will not be buying anything that Tiger Woods endorses, I hope his mom bops him in the head. How dare he have an affair with these women if I was his wife I would divorce him and she will of course get more than 5 mil. Life is too shore Elin you are beautiful and can get alot better.

    • ZA said

      I don’t think you are alone, I think many people will choose to not support anymore Tiger or the products he endorses. Although I doubt any boycott will be enough that Tiger risks losing any of his endorsement deals.


  2. BLS said

    I always bought NIKE in the past for all of my family, but I will NEVER buy it again as long as they continue to endorse Tiger Woods.

  3. df said

    It’s his life. He did no crime.
    I bought Nike pre-tiger. Will buy
    Nike now. Let the judgements go.

    • ZA said

      I bought a pair of Nike last night, so I’m certainly not boycotting them. But it’s easy to understand why some people are so put off by Tiger’s behavior that they will boycott his sponsors. Tiger did a really lousy thing to his wife & family. Boycotting Tiger (i.e.- the products he endorses) is a way for people to register their objection to his actions. If Nike feels the boycott in their pocket book (which I doubt happens) then they may drop Tiger. Tiger loses the endorsement money from the deal and is thereby hurt by his actions.


  4. Josh said

    Nike = Adultery
    Gatorade = Adultery
    TAGHeuer = Adultery
    Gillette = Adultery

    Tiger Woods took a vow to be faithful to his wife. He has two children with her. (Maybe others, it sounds like…)

    Advertisers who do not publicly, explicitly condemn his behavior condone his behavior.

    I read on another site that the money I paid to buy the products above went became part of the hush money Tiger’s given his girlfriends. Having heard some of the messages, the guy’s a sleaze. (And an adulterer.)

    He hits a golf ball accurately. Big whoop. He’s a selfish, absorbed, hurtful egomaniac. It would seem he also has some pathology. This is the face of Nike/Gillette/Gatorade/TAGHeuer?! THAT’S what we are to associate with Quaker Oats?!?

    I can’t stand the way Pepsi (Gatorade) said the Tiger drink simply ‘wasn’t selling well; we were planning on dropping it months ago’. That just offends me.

    I’m waiting for a company to come out and say, “Marriage vows are taken before God and man. We do not want a man representing our company who so shamefully broke the vows he made to his wife.”

    Until then, no more products from these companies. I’m also going to contact the stores I shop at and tell them WHY I’m no longer buying these products. I’m also returning whatever I have from these companies.

  5. AA said

    It’s wrong what Tiger did, but he should still be treated like a human being. Show LOVE, not HATE. We don’t know what went on in his home, or what led him to act in this way so why get so arrogant?

  6. AA said

    I respect tiger and I still do. We all have faults and need to deal with our short comings. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone!

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