Tag Archives: tiger woods

Getting with the Good Guys

Both Tiger Woods and Ben Rothlesberger have had their public image severly tarnished through acts of indecency over the past few years.  Now while you would be hard pressed to call either of them role models after learning about their less than stellar ethics, both of them have managed to maintain high profile sponsorship deals for playing their respective sports.

This raises a very interesting question when thinking about sponsorship of individual athletes.  Is it OK for companies to focus their marketing dollars on people that display negative moral actions, even if their on field (or on the course in Tiger’s case) performance is excellent?  Should sponsors be held to an ethical standard?  This is a debate that could go round about many times.  However, even if sponsors continue to support people like Tiger and Ben, perhaps they should also look to partner with certain athletes that the public holds in high regard.

Just a few days ago, hockey star Brooks Laich was driving home after his team, the Washington Capitals, suffered a crushing Game 7 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL playoffs, when he noticed two stranded motorists on the side of the road.  Laich went on to pull over and change the tire for what happened to be two of his biggest fans.  Although the mother/ daughter fan combo were upset about the car and the game loss, they could not have had better things to say about Laiche, who they referred to as an “angel” in a Washington Post article.  The same article also resulted in hundreds of postive fan comments about Laiche and how “he is such a great guy”.

What about Brian Davis?  Two weeks ago he gave up the chance of winning his first ever PGA tour event through an act of incredible sportsmanship.  Davis, who was in the midst of a playoff with Jim Furyk, called himself out on a penalty that went unoticed.  This ultimately cost him two strokes and the tournament.  Again, after seeing this display of moral fortitude, feedback from fans around the world was exceedingly positive.

Perhaps teaming up with the “good reputation” guys that we mentioned above, will not only help sponsors reach sports fans, but their partnership with these positive icons can translate into brand recognition amongst the general public.  Of course, we do understand that endemic brands like Nike will continue to sponsor athletes based on performance merits, but perhaps they can put a bit more effort into marketing themselves alongside some of the more virtuous athletes in the business.

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Didn’t Accenture drop Tiger?

While walking to my gate at Logan Airport in Boston last Thursday evening, I could not help but question the Accenture advertisements lining the walls.  Now one might say, “What’s questionable about Accenture adverts in an international airport?”, as the company is arguably the world’s largest consulting firm and Logan is one the world’s busiest airports.
Well, it is not the placement of the signage that spurred my reaction; it was the fact that the advertisements utilized Tiger Woods.  As we all know, Accenture relieved Woods from his postion underneath their sponsorship wing over a month ago as soon as the public began to get an in depth look into his unchaste lifestyle.
So, back to my questioning, how come Accenture, after a very decisive and public decision to drop Tiger, is still displaying ads featuring the golfer?  Does it not make sense that they would immediately pull and replace these ads?  Any thoughts?

Perhaps Accenture should look to remove all Tiger marketing materials sooner than later in order to make sure their point is made.

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Situation Worsens for Tiger

Last week we issued the Performance Research opinion as to the Tiger Woods situation.  Since then we have seen new reports that not only increases the number of mistresses linked to the golfer, but also tie him to prescription drug abuse and the possible use of human growth hormones.  While neither drug abuse nor the use of steroids has been confirmed, the implications alone, coupled with his extramarital affairs are making this situation for Tiger and his sponsors far more difficult than originally forecasted.  While the initial accusations could be viewed by the public as a blip in his personal life, the continuance and level of controversy surrounding Woods are now sure to leave a greater impression on his career and legacy.

Woods has already lost one of his primary sponsors, Accenture, and has also had his image dropped from advertisements by sponsors Gillette, Tag Heur and Gatorade.

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The SponsorEye – The Performance Research take on Tiger Woods

While tumultuous times no doubt lay ahead in Tiger Woods’ personal life, some of his sponsorship agreements may have also hit rocky times.

We speculate that with endemic sponsors like Gatorade, Nike and Golf Digest his status is likely to remain. He still represents the best there is in the sport, and for this reason they will hold on to him.  Of course we do suspect that TV and Print ads will come to a halt as companies try to dim the spotlight on Tiger until this story blows over.

As far as non-endemic companies like Accenture, AT&T and Gillette, we suspect that some of these sponsorships will be reconsidered or pulled as their association with Tiger is on a higher level.  These companies associate themselves with Tiger as a professional with a solid personality and place in society.  With all the personal issues in his  life that have been revealed over the past week it puts these sponsors in a tough spot, as so much of their relationship is reliant on him being a positive force outside the realm of golf players.  If any companies do pull out all the way, we suspect it will be one of these.

Look for things to shake out over the next week, then the media backlash will start to slow down as publc interest quells.  Even with the possibility of losing sponsors looming, make no mistakes, Tiger and his accomplishments do outweigh this current scandal.


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