03 Dec 2009

Tiger In His Cage?

So another celebrity falls from grace….I will tell you this. I NEVER thought it would be Tiger. So, my ongoing question still applies.


How does this affect his sponsors? Tag Heuer, Gillette, Nike, Accenture all have multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements with him. Do they drop him? What about Cadillac? I am sure they are not happy about their product, Tiger’s Escalade, being featured all over TV in it’s less than pristine shape! Let’s not even get into how much the PGA depends on him to promote their sport. Tiger presence alone accounts for millions upon millions of sponsorship dollars for the Tour as well has PGA licensed merchandise, TV ratings, etc, etc.


So, which is worse, cheating on your wife or smoking dope at a college party (as our good friend Michael Phelps did.)?


Does it matter that Tiger is an exponentially bigger celebrity than Phelps?

Will that factor in to how the sponsors will react?


I say it will. Tiger is way too important to his sponsors, the Tour and the sport of golf as a whole to garner any kind of retribution. Even if a sponsor chooses to terminate their contract with Tiger, there is still a line of companies waiting to give him money.


It will be interesting in the coming days to see how Tiger responds. So far, he is doing well by coming out and admitting “transgressions”. It would only get worse if he kept denying it.


What you do think?


Adam is a graduate of Colorado State University (bachelor’s degree in marketing), and he has experience on both the client and agency side of the marketing world. These experiences led him to come up with a unique, more efficient business model, which he’s incorporated into Encite Marketing. Adam sets the strategic direction for all Encite projects, developing integrated marketing campaigns that bring results. He takes a consultative approach with clients, educating them about how the process works, and keeping them in the loop about end goals, steps, and tasks.


  1. Over those days he kept putting off the meetup with police and press, I pretty much assumed he was in a series of phone talks with his sponsors.

    Yes, his legal peeps, too, no doubt… but I can easily imagine Tiger’s brand managers (whether they carry that title or something more tied to a specific role) all gathered ’round to advise him on how to proceed.

    Much of the social media traffic today amounts to versions of “Leave him alone, already, for reason X or whatever,” Sounds like, going forward (as they say) Tiger’s brand could use a shot of the advice I get from BrandEDus.net principal Rex Whisman:

    “To build and sustain your brand, you must align your internal culture with your external reputation.”

    Tiger has done exceptionally well in that regard for years; this one moderate (blown bigger in the media) slip will certainly cost him measurably, but I’m confident he and his sponsors are already hard at work to rebuild. We can just hope that Tiger himself will take on the big task and rebuild at home.

    1. Ken,
      I couldn’t have put it better myself. If he doesn’t have someone managing the “Tiger” brand, he is in bigger trouble than he already is. That brand needs an entire army of managers..

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