A picture is worth a thousand words.
And if that picture happens to be a Tiger Woods mugshot post-DUI arrest, it will almost assuredly cost Tiger Woods millions in current and future endorsement earnings.
According to an ESPN report, Woods was arrested for driving under the influence early Monday near his home in Jupiter, FL. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m. ET after spending several hours in jail. He was booked at 7:18 a.m.
Most immediately, my thoughts are:
- How quickly will companies drop Tiger as a corporate spokesperson?
- How much money will this cost a guy who has already lost millions in endorsement earnings due to his highly publicized infidelity?
- Will Nike continue to stand by Tiger?
Published reports in January 2017 list the following endorsement deals for Woods:
- Nike Golf, which signed Woods in 1996 and built its golf division around Woods. Nike stopped making golf clubs in 2016, but still outfits Woods in apparel and shoes.
- TaylorMade Golf, who Woods signed with in January 2017 to play its woods, irons and wedges.
- Bridgestone Golf, which has Woods signed to a golf ball deal.
- Rolex, the watch makers.
- Kowa, a diversified Japanese company whose pharmaceutical products include a pain medicine for which Woods does ads that air in Japan.
- Upper Deck, the sports cards and collectibles company.
- Hero Motor Group, the India-based motorcycle maker.
In Forbes' 2016 "richest celebrities" piece, Woods was credited with $45.5 million in earnings. Because he has sparsely played due to chronic back issues, it is likely that almost all of this is attributable to endorsement earnings from these various sponsors.
For Woods to still be able to attain this level of endorsement earnings in light of his prior and highly publicized and scandalous transgressions is almost as impressive as the 350-yard drives he routinely smoked down the middle of fairways across the world.
As a 2010 Business Insider article noted, citing reports from Sports Illustrated's "Fortunate 50" report which annually assessed the earnings of the top athletes globally, Woods endorsement earnings fell $22 million from an estimated $92 million in 2009 to $70 million in 2010. This included the loss of titans lTigherike Gatorade, AT&T, and Accenture.