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Posts Tagged ‘Tiger Woods’

Tiger Woods doesn’t get it…

Posted by ZA on November 22, 2010

…but this article in AdAge does.  It hits on exactly where Tiger is going wrong in his efforts to rehab his image and what he could do to improve.  I totally agree that everything Tiger is doing right now seems to be scripted by IMG.

I asked a friend of mine, who is a huge Tiger fan, if he listened to the radio interview last week.  His response was, “You can be a bland d*ck and still be wildly popular (as long as) you win everything.  But finishing 11th and ‘granting’ interviews like this is boring…and a little insulting.”   I agree with my friend and I agree with the experts quoted in Rich Thomaselli’s article.

For Tiger to truly win back some of us, he either needs to start dominating on the golf course again or he needs to be more authentic.  Since I personally don’t think Tiger has it in him to be more authentic, I think Woods needs to just win. The question now is can Tiger Woods get back to that same level of domination?  Can he dominate the golf scene in the coming years the way he did in the past?  I think that’s a challenge for Tiger, because there are a lot more talented golfers these days.  And there is not the same fear of Tiger Woods that once existed on the PGA Tour.  A lot of these younger players and foreign golfers want to challenge Tiger and have the games to do it.

So if I’m Tiger Woods, I would quite these lame attempts to personify himself to the public.  Instead I would go radio silent again and thrust all his energy into getting back to dominating on the golf course.  Then fans like me can just appreciate him for being the best golfer on the planet, instead of his agents trying to get us to like Tiger the person.

Tiger Woods' latest PR attempts are too programmed

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Posted in Golf, Nike | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Did Nike commercial end Tiger Woods’ marriage?

Posted by ZA on April 16, 2010

In a word, no.  But AdAge takes an interesting look at that topic here because apparently some of the mainstream media is using that story line to drum up business.  Even if Elin Nordegren didn’t like the Nike ad, a television commercial was not the breaking point in their marriage.  So to even suggest that the ad played a role (and not Tiger’s 18+ affairs) is insulting to Elin.

Posted in Golf, Nike | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Tiger Woods commercial for Nike

Posted by ZA on April 7, 2010

Nike Golf launched their first Tiger Woods commercial since his scandal broke.  The commercial features the voice of Tiger’s deceased father, Earl Woods.  Tiger doesn’t speak in the commercial, he just stares into the camera with a concerned look on his face.  Tiger’s wearing a Nike swoosh on his hat & sweater vest, which is the only brand or messaging in the commercial aside from a plain Nike swoosh that briefly appears on the screen at the close.

I don’t personally care for this commercial.  I know Nike feels like they had to address the elephant in the room with Tiger, but using his late father’s voice seems to be a cheap tactic.  Nike will surely get lots of exposure for this commercial because it is a major source of controversy.  But I’m not sure mentions on NBC Nightly News and across the blogosphere is going to translate into business for Nike.  I think Nike Golf should have kept the focus on Tiger’s play on the course and not try to touch his off-course issues.


Tiger Woods commercial for Nike Golf

Posted in Golf, Nike | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Tiger Woods’ impact on PGA Tour

Posted by ZA on March 24, 2010

The New York Times Magazine offers a good look at the affect that Tiger Woods has had on golf and the PGA tour, in their article called “Tiger Bubble”.  It offers some fascinating insight into the changes Tiger has brought to the world of professional golf.  And it analyzes how Tiger’s current scandal might affect golf.  The article has plenty of quotes that the folks at the PGA Tour headquarters might not like to hear, including these two below:

“…will investors return to an enterprise whose fortunes have seemed so inextricably linked to a single brand?”

“…almost three times as many golf courses closed as opened in the United States last year.”

Posted in Golf | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Guest post: Elin Holds the Cards

Posted by ZA on March 9, 2010

BrandDunk has covered different aspects of how Tiger Woods situation will affect his endorsements.  Today we have a talented guest author who offers a fresh perspective on the situation to let sponsors know when to expect a return to normal.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

This guest post is authored by Casey Harverstick, a freelance writer who has written for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Casey is an avid golfer who resides in Austin, Texas – you can email him at cnh10@hotmail.com.

Elin Holds the Cards

Much time has passed since “the wreck.”  Tiger Woods has made his much-anticipated, very public apology.  Since Tiger made it clear he’s not going to discuss what happened the night of the accident, two big questions still remain:  When will Tiger return to competitive golf?  Will Tiger and Elin remain married?

One person has the answer to these questions.  That person is not Tiger.  It’s his wife, Elin.  How the media and its revelations have impacted Elin – not Tiger – is an interesting and less frequently viewed angle.  Below is a breakdown of how various factors of this story could impact Elin’s decision.

Tiger’s Soliloquy (aka: Tiger’s apology)

Surely Elin was pleased with what Tiger said.  However I can’t help but think she was upset that he had to say it in that forum.  She’s obviously a private person.  That Tiger had to apologize to the entire world for being an awful husband couldn’t sit well.  By the time he spoke publicly, he had probably apologized to her 1000 times.  So this one wasn’t really about her at all.  It wouldn’t surprise me if she didn’t even watch.  And it definitely didn’t surprise me that she wasn’t there.

Impact on Elin: Non-factor

Hard to look at it that way, considering this was easily the biggest, most scrutinized event since the accident itself.  Elin had already heard versions of that speech ten times over by the time he stepped to the podium.  Mostly, it served to embarrass.  And provide the public with his face on camera.

The Women and Their Stories

Rachel Uchitel was the first Tiger Woods mistress to be revealed

This situation completely went out of control when it became evident that there were a lot more than just a couple women.  Per the Hillary Clinton corollary, I got the feeling Elin could possibly forgive a tryst with one woman, maybe two.  When we got into double digits, I assumed it would be a deal breaker.  Conversely, the double digit tally also paved the way for the “rehab.”  As if to say a man who sleeps around with one woman isn’t pathological.  The rehab gave Tiger something to focus on – parameters and rules and, maybe most importantly, he had a reason for his behavior.  An addiction.  Anyway, out of everything that came out, this had to be the most damning.  Especially considering it got so much media attention.  That it happened so publicly and crudely only hurts Tiger’s chances – at golf and reconciliation.  These were surely the darkest, hardest days for Elin.  It’s one thing to find out your spouse is cheating on you.  It’s another to find out about it on ESPN.

Impact on Elin: Big factor.

Ultimately, could end the marriage.  And could definitely delay Tiger’s return to the course.  If he’s fighting to keep her – however one goes about that – it will definitely not behoove him to pound balls nine hours a day while she shops or hangs out with the kids.  That said, you can’t just sit down at the dining room table and hash this out in a night or two.  But not playing doesn’t fix anything either.  Around and around we go.

Stevie’s Interview and Tiger’s Inner Circle

Tiger Woods caddie, Steve Williams, speaks out

Steve Williams, Tigers’ caddie/friend/bodyguard, has pleaded ignorance to Tiger’s philandering from the outset (Stevie’s comments on Tiger).  And like everyone else who read that, I found it incredibly hard to believe.  He’s sticking by it.  It’s important to note this isn’t your standard player-caddie relationship.  Tiger was the best man at Stevie’s wedding.  Tiger covered Stevie in tears after winning the British Open in 2006 shortly after his father’s death. He cried more on Stevie’s shoulder than he did on his mother’s or Elin’s.  It’s not like they go their separate ways after every round.  Tiger typically rents houses during tournament weeks to avoid the public – and because money isn’t an issue.  All these nights Tiger strayed Stevie wasn’t staying at a Motel 6 and he definitely wasn’t camped out in the front yard.  This interview reads like a direct plea to Elin:  Don’t make Tiger fire me.  Stevie can’t be the only one sweating his future.  From the onset there has been much speculation about Tiger’s entourage.  With reconciliation a possibility, would Elin allow Stevie, Byron Bell (best friend from childhood), Mark Steinberg (agent) and numerous other confidants to stay in the inner circle?  Tiger makes all of these people a lot of money.  Millions and millions of dollars at stake here.  This is not to say Tiger isn’t solely responsible for his actions.  But she must feel scorned by these people – they’re her friends, too.  Or at least she thought they were.

Impact on Elin: Small factor for Tiger’s return; non-factor for their reconciliation.

I’m not sure putting Tiger in time out and not letting him play with his friends will serve any other purpose than to make him unhappy – and cost him money.  Granted, that might sound pleasant in itself to her.  I doubt Elin believes Stevie was ignorant of everything, but she’s got her hands full without picking a new caddie for Tiger.  Steinberg is an agent – and nobody likes or trusts agents.  There isn’t a successful agent in the world who wouldn’t cover up for Tiger Woods, if given the chance.  That said, assuming a reconciliation is in the works, there will be discussions between Elin and Tiger about who he spends his time with on the road.  These discussions could definitely lead to a delay in his return or a change to his normal playing schedule.

Tiger’s College Girlfriend’s Article

Tiger Woods college girlfriend, Irene Folstrom

Golf.com published this article from Tiger Woods former girlfriend from his days at Stanford.

Impact on Elin: None

Laughably transparent and self-serving.  Let me get this straight, you’re coming to Tiger’s defense by saying he treated you well in college?  How would Elin read this?  Do you want her to be happy for you?  I have an easier time believing Stevie didn’t know Tiger was in orgies than believing Tiger never cheated on this one.  I hope Elin never read it.  For my money, this is the cheapest, most unattractive story I’ve come across and I’m surprised it got published on a non-tabloid website.  I’ve listed it here only as an example of the lengths the media will go to get a headline when there’s a lull.

Regarding their marriage, I don’t have a rooting interest.  I do hope the kids can have somewhat of a normal childhood (which was probably a long shot the moment they were born).  As a golf fan, I’d like to see Tiger back at Bay Hill and then, of course, The Masters.  The game misses him.  The networks and sponsors definitely miss him.  To borrow Reggie Jackson’s line, he stirs the drink.  If I could ask Tiger just one thing, it would be this:

Would you mind if I asked Elin a question?

________________________________________________________________________________

Much time has passed since “the wreck.”  Tiger has made his much-anticipated, very public apology.  Since Tiger made it clear he’s not going to discuss what happened the night of the accident, two big questions still remain:  When will Tiger return to competitive golf?  Will Tiger and Elin remain married?

One person has the answer to these questions.  That person is not Tiger.  It’s his wife, Elin.  How the media and its revelations have impacted Elin – not Tiger – is an interesting and less frequently viewed angle.  Below is a breakdown of how various factors of this story could impact Elin’s decision.

Posted in Golf, Random Stuff, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Evaluating my 2009 Sports Marketing predictions

Posted by ZA on January 3, 2010

Time to take a look back and evaluate how I did on my 2009 predictions for the world of Sports Marketing. I posted my “bold predictions” on January 2, 2009 as a wide ranging look at some of the big moves I thought would happen in the industry.  I made seven predictions and wind up getting almost half of them correct.

Prediction: Tiger Woods will sign with Mercedes or BMW.

Result: This one did not happen, but who could have predicted the implosion that would happen to Tiger Woods the endorsement star in 2009.  Tiger is currently losing endorsements by the week, but I still think this prediction will eventually come true.  Companies will stay away from Woods for awhile, but when they do come back I expect Tiger to pickup a luxury car endorsement deal.

Prediction: Wrigley Field gets a new name.

Result: This one didn’t happen, although the Cubs were finally sold at the end of the year so it could be on-tap for 2010.

Prediction: AIG will end uniform sponsorship with Manchester United.
Result: I got this one right.  Shortly after writing these predictions word came out that AIG would discontinue their deal with Man U.  AIG actually just chose not to renew their deal, but close enough I got this one right.

Prediction: NASCAR will cut races.

Result: It was a tough year for Nascar with a tough economy and huge losses in the auto industry both hurting the sport.  The end result was that some races were not return to the schedule (e.g.- Milwaukee Mile in 2010).

Prediction: Reebok will be folded by Adidas.

Result: This did not happen, and with parent company, Adidas’ stock up 20% in 2009, the Reebok brand might be safe for awhile.  That said, I still think we’re still headed towards an Adidas versus Nike world, so at some point Adidas is going to put Reebok down.

Prediction: Under Armour will be acquired by Nike.

Result: This did not happen, but I still feel it’s one that could happen soon.  Under Armour’s stock is only up slightly since beginning of ’09 and UA stock took a pounding in October when they missed the mark with their expansion into running shoes.  Nike is still flying high and has a $30 billion market cap, so I think they eventually make this acquisition to eliminate a big competitor.

Prediction: David Beckham goes back to Europe.
Result: Nailed this prediction.  Becks came, he played a little bit and created a sensation.  Then David high tailed it back to the Spanish Premiere League.  I think Beckham likes the idea of playing in America, but isn’t really interested in doing it just yet.

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Golf, Nascar, Nike, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing, Under Armour, Venue Naming Rights | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Will Tiger return any money to Nike?

Posted by ZA on December 17, 2009

As the scandal around golfer Tiger Woods rages on, sales of Nike Golf apparel are dropping.  Retailers are no longer pushing the Tiger Woods branded Nike Golf line and his absence from the PGA Tour is only going to continue to hurt sales.  Bloomberg estimates that Nike stands to lose approximately $30 million in sales from the current Tiger scandal.  A former CBS Sports executive says “The aura (around Tiger) is gone”.

So the question is will Tiger give any of that money back to Nike?  Woods is almost solely responsible for building Nike Golf division into a half a billion dollar cash cow.  For that Tiger has been paid over $100 million dollars by Nike in his career.  So will Tiger consider giving some of that money back to Nike now – when it’s clear that Tiger’s personal actions are hurting the corporate giant.  I doubt that Tiger would ever hand over a check to Phil Knight, but I do think this will prompt Tiger to give Nike a sweetheart deal whenever his current contract expires.  Sure Tiger has made more money for Phil Knight than Knight has paid to Woods, but Knight & Nike have also stood by Tiger during this scandal.  Knight is the only sponsor who has vocally supported Woods saying that Tiger’s transgressions are just a “minor blip” on his great career.   I’m betting that Phil Knight gets a nice holiday card from Tiger this year.

Posted in Athletes, Golf, Nike | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tiger Woods popularity dropping quickly

Posted by ZA on December 15, 2009

A recent ABC News/Washington Post survey said that only 42% of respondents have a “favorable opinion” of Tiger Woods.  In the same poll an equal number (43%) said they have an “unfavorable opinion” of Tiger Woods, with 26% saying they have a “strongly unfavorable opinion” of Mr. Woods.

The positive side of those numbers are way down for Tiger who scored 60% “favorable” and 25% “unfavorable” just a few weeks ago (right after car crash).  Tiger has lost a huge amount of good feelings since 2005 where he measured at 85% favorable versus 8% unfavorable.  See more details on the poll here at Brandweek.

Tiger’s fall from grace has occurred quickly as sordid details of his personal life have played out in the media.  During the scandal Tiger has remained silent except for a couple of canned statements that apologized for “transgressions” and begged for privacy.  Woods silence has seemed to add further fuel to the anger against him, as he is unwilling to answer questions about the accusations being lobbed against him.

I doubt Tiger is innocent in all of this, but would still like to hear him tell his side of the story.  Or at the very least I’d like to see him step forward and face the music.  At the core this is definitely a private matter between him, his wife and his family.  But he’s a public figure (professional athlete & spokesperson) who has been accused of some horrible things, so I think Tiger needs to make a public statement.  That should be on-camera and should specifically address the items he is accused of.  So far Tiger & his PR people seem to be bungling this situation, I’m hoping they are planning something to try to clear the air a bit…or at least give the public something to get people to start moving on from this issue (thus allowing Tiger & Elin privacy to work on things).

Posted in Athletes, Golf, Sports Brands | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Gatorade dumps Tiger Woods themed sports drink

Posted by ZA on December 8, 2009

Gatorade announced they are going to discontinue Tigerade (aka: Gatorade Focus) as part of a streamlining of their product lines.  Pepsico officials said their decision to drop the Tiger themed drink has nothing to do with his current personal issues.  It was part of a decision they announced awhile back to remove the singular focus of Tiger on one product, so they could use him across their whole line of Gatorade drinks.  More here at CNBC.

Is this Tiger Woods losing his first endorsement deal?
No, it was probably just a coincidence that Gatorade made this announcement now when everyone’s awareness of all things Tiger is heightened.  It’s doubtful that Tiger loses any significant endorsements from the infidelity that’s been revealed.  It is possible that he loses some future deals from sponsors who might have been in talks with Tiger’s agent.  Or at least I think we’ll see a long drought until the next Woods endorsement deal is inked, because no company wants to take the negative PR hit of signing Tiger right now.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

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Columnist slams fellow journalists as Tiger haters

Posted by ZA on December 4, 2009

Jason Whitlock seems to always know how to get some attention.  I remember reading a column he wrote when he was still writing for the Kansas City newspaper that slammed the state of Texas and my Texas Longhorns as poor hosts of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament.  That column got a lot of attention with Longhorn fans because he was attacking our team, so naturally he got a lot of hate mail.

I quickly got over my distaste for that article, but have always wondered if his schtick is to be the incendiary columnist.  I’ve actually enjoyed a lot of his stuff in the last few years because he isn’t afraid to let it all hang out.  But I do think he sometimes picks topics that he knows will draw a big reaction from readers (as many journalists do).  Not that there is anything wrong with that; starting a conversation is often a great thing.  I was a bit shocked by his recent column on Tiger Woods because he really goes over the top to slam his fellow journalists.  A few of the highlights (or lowlights, if you prefer) below:

* “…the media, especially the print media, want to be needed.  We’re an insecure lot, dealing with festering childhood insecurities about popularity and sexuality.”   – I’ll agree the first statement is fairly true, but I’m not touching that second part.

* Tears into Charlie Pierce saying “Pierce should’ve opened his column by admitting he dislikes Woods and his opinion is skewed by that bias.”  Whitlock goes on to tell an interesting anecdote about Pierce trashing Bill Simmons because the Sports Guy had told Pierce to ‘go **** himself’ back in 2002.  Not sure if either is true, but the theory that Pierce attacks those he holds grudges against is a smack in the face to him.

* “I’m sharing this because it’s important for the public to know that the media act dishonestly all the time.  We’re far more phony than Tiger Woods ever could be.” – Wow, Whitlock might lose a few Christmas cards from his fellow journalists with that line.  I can’t comment on other people, but I do know that my opinions are often biased when I’m writing something here.  So it’s easy to imagine plenty of journalists writing something with an agenda.

* Whitlock then rips into ESPN’s Rick Reilly about an article he wrote in 2004 on Colorado football coach Gary Barnett.  Reilly criticized Barnett for the same thing that Whitlock says happened at Reilly’s own house.  I’m surprised to see Whitlock attack Rick Reilly in that way, but see the point he is making.

Go read the article by Jason Whitlock at FoxSports.  It’s nothing if not interesting.

Posted in Golf, Random Stuff, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »