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Posts Tagged ‘Tiger Woods’

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:
[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oTMosZ76b8]

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

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Posted in Endorsement Deals, Endorsement Profile, Gatorade, Golf, Nike, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Tiger Woods turning mainstream golf sites into TMZ

Posted by ZA on November 30, 2009

Golf.com has always been one of my favorite sites to catch up on what’s going on in the world of golf.  I enjoy their special features and their Q&A section (check out this great one with Brandel Chamblee if you haven’t read it yet).   But this week Tiger Woods hysteria has turned Golf.com, and the other mainstream golf sites, into sites that more closely resemble rival tabloid journalism sites.

The first 6 stories listed under Golf.com’s “Top Stories” section all were about Woods, his suspicious crash and his wife Elin.  Their feature headline is “Silent Treatment”, which refers to Tiger’s decision to not answer questions about his accident or other rumors swirling around the web. Apparently this week only Golf.com has morphed into TMZ.

Mainstream golf writers are writing about 911 calls and mistresses instead of snap hooks and double eagles.  Instead of doing press about the game they cover, they are being asked about what they know about Tiger Woods.  They are one part legendary golf author Dan Jenkins and another gossip talk show host Tyra Banks.  Personally I’m looking forward to seeing David Feherty’s breakdown Tiger’s crash scene in Isleworth with a telestrator of the fire hydrant and crash tree.

When will the Tiger Woods hysteria end? Either when he speaks out to tell what happened or there is a bigger story to cover.  It is not likely the golf world will see a bigger story in the near future.  So Tiger will stay in this media spotlight until there are some answers to the many questions and rumors swirling around.  Tiger, I appreciate your right to privacy, but silence is not always golden.

Golf.com Homepage on Monday after Tiger Woods story broke

 

 

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

Will Tiger Woods win an Olympic gold medal?

Posted by ZA on August 13, 2009

The organizers of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London have to be kicking themselves this morning.  As big as those Games are going to be (and they’ll bigger than Beijing) they are going to be missing one key ingredient that could make them even bigger, golfer Tiger Woods.   Woods won’t be playing golf in London for the 2012 Olympics, but he could be competing in the 2016 Olympics because his sport was just approved for inclusion.

The IOC voted today to add golf and rugby as the two newest Olympic sports.  Both sports will debut at the 2016 Olympic Games.  These picks shouldn’t come as any surprise, except maybe those rooting for baseball to be picked.  I predicted golf and rugby would be the finalists in an article I wrote a short time ago, although I did have a difficult time selecting between rugby & baseball for the second spot.  I think baseball would have brought more sponsorship dollars than rugby, but it’s splitting hairs.

But now back to the more important question, can a 40 year old Tiger Woods win a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics? Woods would be 40 years old in the Summer of 2016, but should still be in the late stages of his prime as a golfer.  So I wouldn’t put it past Woods to compete and win an Olympic gold medal in golf.  It would be another unique accomplishment for Tiger to put with the stack he’s already accumulated, so he’s got the motivation.  So I think Tiger Woods will be an Olympic gold medal winner.

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

Who are the most popular athletes in America?

Posted by ZA on July 30, 2009

Americans love sports, so naturally we love the athletes who play the games.  But which athletes are our favorites?  Who are the top 10 most popular athletes in sports today? The Harris Poll recently released the results of their 2009 survey that asked 2,177 U.S. adults to tell who were their favorite sports stars.

America’s Favorite Male Athletes (2009):
1. Tiger Woods (Golfer)
2. Michael Jordan (Retired, NBA star)
3. LeBron James (Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers)
4. Kobe Bryant (Guard, Los Angeles Lakers)
5. Derek Jeter (Shortstop, New York Yankees)
6. Jeff Gordon (Driver, Nascar)
7. Peyton Manning (Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts)
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Driver, Nascar)
9. Brett Favre (Retired, NFL star)
10. Albert Pujols (Baseball player, St. Louis Cardinals)

America’s Favorite Female Athletes (2009):

1. Serena Williams (Tennis player)
2. Venus Williams (Tennis player)
3. Danica Patrick (Driver, Indy Racing)
4. Candace Parker (Forward, WNBA)
5. Mia Hamm (Soccer star)
6. Maria Sharapova (Tennis player)
7. Annika Sorenstam (Golfer)
8. Chris Everett Lloyd (Retired, Tennis star)
9. Anna Kournikova (Retired, Tennis player & model)
10. Michelle Kwan (Figure skater)

What stands out to me about the lists, particularly among the guys, is the influence that Nike has among the list.  7 of the 10 guys on the list endorse Nike, you could count Brett Favre as an 8th since he endorsed Nike brand, Starter.  The only 2 guys who do not have endorsement deals with Nike are the two Nascar drivers, who wouldn’t be a target for a shoe/apparel endorsement deal.  So you could say that Nike has a clean sweep of the eligible males.  Among female favorite athletes Nike’s percentage drops down a bit, but they still have four of the top 10 and the #1 overall.  Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, Maria Sharapova and Chris Everett Lloyd all cash endorsement checks signed by Phil Knight.

Other brands are well represented; Gatorade has deals more than half of the two lists.  That number is even greater if you factor in all of the Pepsico clients, Gatorade’s parent company, on the two lists.  Nike’s chief competitor, Adidas, also has a couple of current (Parker) or former endorsers (Kournikova) on the list.

But no brand is as well represented on the two lists as Nike.  The question it brings up is whether Nike’s marketing is helping to make these stars more popular or whether Nike has just picked the most popular athletes?  My thought is that it’s a bit of both.  Nike has always been one of the innovative marketers in sports.  They’ve revolutionized the game of sports marketing with campaigns they built around athletes, starting with Michael Jordan and continuing today through Tiger Woods.

Consider that Nike did not even make golf shoes or clubs prior to signing Tiger in 1996.  Nike’s original endorsement contract with Tiger Woods was $40 million dollars over five-years, which was then followed by a five year, $100 million dollar extension.  But their spending did not stop there, Nike has spent tens of millions more to promote their association with Tiger Woods.  And for their efforts, it’s estimated that Nike Golf pulled in $725 million in sales in 2008.  Through their endorsement deal and promotion, Nike essentially created a new billion dollar revenue stream for the company.  That type of innovative marketing will generate the cash to pay for a lot of endorsement deals.

And Nike has never been shy about spending for top talent.  They signed quasi lifetime endorsement deals with a few of the top names (Jordan, Woods & Serena Williams) to make sure they locked up their stars.  Other deals might as well be lifetime contracts because you won’t see Jeter or Sharapova pitching anyone else’s shoe brand anytime soon.  And Nike jumps at the chance whenever their has been an opportunity to add a big, new star to their roster.  Just recently they solidified long-term agreements with two members of the top 10 list above who happen to be the most popular players in the NBA; LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

All of the athletes above are some of the biggest stars in sports; a feat they achieved because of their superior talent and lots of hard work.  But to ascend to the top of the list of America’s favorite athletes also requires a little help from sponsors.  And from their dominance on the two lists, it appears that Nike is a really good sponsor to have.

Posted in Athletes, Endorsement Deals, Gatorade, Golf, MLB, Nascar, NBA, NFL, Nike, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Only a select few to endorse Wheaties

Posted by ZA on July 28, 2009

In the 80+ years that General Mills has marketed Wheaties there have been thousands of great athletes featured on their boxes of cereal.  Everyone from Andre Agassi to Kristi Yamaguchi have been featured on the front of the famous orange box.  Being selected to appear on the cover of a box of Wheaties is quite an accomplishment; one that only the best athletes and teams will ever experience.

But as prestigious as it is to appear on a Wheaties box, it is even more so to be named a spokesperson for the iconic brand.  Wheaties has only had 7 athletes who were selected to serve as spokesperson for their product.  They are all athletes who transcended their sport and were famous around the globe.  The seven Wheaties spokespersons are athletes who excelled both on and off the field.

Athletes who served as Spokesperson for Wheaties:
* Bob Richards (Pole Vaulter)
* Bruce Jenner (Track & Field)
* Mary Lou Retton (Gymnast)
* Walter Payton (Football player)
* Chris Evert (Tennis)
* Michael Jordan (Basketball)
* Tiger Woods (Golf)

There are not published details on how much these athletes were paid by Wheaties to endorse their product.  But the distinction of being a spokesperson for a brand so closely linked to sports greatness is surely a thrill for each of these star athletes.

Full list of athletes who have appeared on a Wheaties box.

Posted in Athletes, Endorsement Deals, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top 10 Richest Athletes in the World

Posted by ZA on July 1, 2009

The economies of the World may be slumping, but the business of sports is still booming.  The top leagues, teams and athletes will all still be pulling in plenty of money this year.  From rich team contracts, to astronomical earnings, to lucrative endorsement deals.  There will be lots of cash pouring into the bank accounts of the top athletes in sports.   But which athletes are the richest?  Which are the top earning athletes in the World today?  CNNSI has recently released their 2009 list of the Fortunate 50, which is a list of the 50 top earning athletes in the United States.  They also published their list of the top 20 earning International athletes.  Below is a compilation of the two lists, so it is a list of the top 10 earning athletes in the World today.

Top Earning Athletes in World:
1. Tiger Woods ($99MM)
2. Phil Mickelson ($52MM)
3. David Beckham ($45MM)
4. Lebron James ($42MM)
5. Kimi Raikkonen ($40.1MM)
6. Manny Pacquiao ($40MM)
7. Lionel Messi ($39.9MM)
8. Alex Rodriguez ($39MM)
9. Fernando Alonso ($35MM)
9. Valentino Rossi ($35MM)
9. Shaquille O’Neal ($35MM)
10. Kevin Garnett ($34.7MM)

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Posted in Athletes, Endorsement Deals, Golf, Money, NBA, Soccer | Tagged: , , , | 29 Comments »

The randomness of sports: Masters 2009

Posted by ZA on April 13, 2009

I spent Masters Sunday splitting time between entertaining my 8-month old daughter and watching the final round of The Masters.  The final round was an enjoyable one, although I felt the CBS duo of Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo overplayed the greatness of it a bit.  Maybe it was because I was only casually watching since I was babysitting my little girl, but this round wasn’t nearly as exciting as other rounds of golf that I’ve watched.  The best round of golf that I’ve seen was the Sunday round at the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline, when the USA overcame a huge deficit to win.

What was amazing to me about the Sunday round of the 2009 Masters was the randomness of the finish. Most of the day was devoted to the epic battle between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.  The eventual playoff participants (Angel Cabrera, Chad Campbell & Kenny Perry) were relegated to a supporting role while Tiger & Phil were on the course.  Once it was obvious that Tiger & Phil were going to fall just short, the storyline turned to Perry.  Nantz waxed poetic about how Perry could become the oldest winner in the history of the Masters.  Then Perry bogeyed the final hole in regulation sending the 2009 Masters into a 3-way playoff.  It is then that the drama really unfolded…

On the first playoff hole Campbell and Perry drove their shots into the middle of the fairway, while Cabrera’s shot was blocked out in the trees to the right.  Naturally you assume that Cabrera’s goose is cooked; it appeared he didn’t even have a shot at the green.  And then it happened.  Then we witnessed one of the luckiest moments in the history of the Masters. Cabrera’s hail mary shot at the green hit a tree and ricocheted out into the 18th fairway.  When I heard the sound of his ball hitting a tree I all but buried Cabrera in my mind.  I had already pretty much written him off with the other two guys in perfect shape in the fairway, but now I was sure he was done.  Until the CBS camera located his shot in the middle of the fairway, then I thought to myself  that maybe El Pato has a chance.

Turns out that Angel Cabrera wasn’t dead; as he tapped in a putt a short time later to win the 2nd playoff hole and the 2009 Masters.  What an amazing turn events, Cabrera went from dead & buried to Masters champion.  I play golf and I’ve struck many trees during my day, so I know that you can catch lucky breaks.  I also know that luck plays a little part in most sports championships.  But what are the odds a guy is going to win the Masters shortly after knocking one off a Georgia Pine?

How random was it that Cabrera’s ball wound up in better position then if he would have just punched out to begin with?  It just goes to show that sports are random.  Cabrera was in terrible shape compared to his opponents, but with one random twist of fate he was still in it.  Yes, it required skill on Angel’s part to get up & down and not choke on the next playoff hole.  But if Cabrera hits that shot off the tree ten more times, I bet none of them turn out as good as his one shot did on Sunday.  It was a random occurrence that helped Angel Cabrera win the Masters.  In my opinion it is “the story” of Sunday at Augusta for the 2009 Masters.

Congrats to Angel “El Pato” Cabrera.  He is a great golfer, who is quite deserving of his Masters championship.  But he needs to go back to Augusta National today and kiss that tree that saved his round.  Like the Eisenhower Tree, we may soon see another tree at Augusta get named for the man who famously struck it.  I just have to figure out what sounds better: Angel’s Tree, Cabrera’s Tree or El Pato’s Pine?

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