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In Support of Tiger Woods?
By: Jeff Louis
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While the news media weighs in on Tiger Woods, simultaneously stating they are tired of the controversy that has led the news with stories on the beleaguered golfer, brands that have built their marketing platforms upon Woods, or used him in their advertising efforts, struggle with the decision to keep or drop Woods.

Accenture, a company that built its entire marketing platform on Tiger Woods, is breaking up with Tiger -- despite the fact their landing page states turning "adversity into advantage" is their specialty. Their advertising efforts up until now have asked if we have what it takes to "be a Tiger." Unfortunately for Woods, Accenture isn't the only one evaluating the damage. While many of Woods' sponsors have already shed themselves of Tiger, some sponsors remain on the fence; some have decided that Tiger's off-the-course infamy has nothing to do with his on-the-course glory. 

An article on Bloomberg.com updates the status of Woods' endorsements.

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) stated,  “At this time, the strategy for our Tiger Woods PGA Tour business remains unchanged.” Thus far, the Tiger Woods games sold by EA have amounted to $675 million in the United States alone.

Pepsi, while in regular contact with Tiger's "people," has not made any major decisions. Prior to Tiger's accident and the whirlwind of media that followed, Pepsi had decided to drop Tiger Focus Gatorade.

Golf Digest. “Golf Digest has had a long-standing relationship with Tiger Woods to provide instruction articles for the magazine, and we do not have any plans to change that,” said Meg D’Incecco, executive director of public relations.

Nike, the largest manufacturer of athletic shoes has had a relationship with Tiger Woods for over three years and states that the golfing division is not changing their advertising plans. 

The Tiger Woods Dubai, a Tiger Woods-designed golf course for Dubai Properties Group called Tiger Woods Dubai stated they are "committed to the completion of its centerpiece Al Ruwaya Golf Course, and that progress continues on the first golf course designed by Tiger Woods Design.” They further stated they do not comment on their partner's personal lives. 

TLC Vision, the company that performed surgery on Tiger Woods in 1999, claims, “Tiger Woods is important to TLC Vision,” James Hyland, a spokesman for TLC Vision, wrote on Dec. 9 in an e-mail. “Our relationship with him continues without change. This is a private matter, and we have no further comment.”

The Upper Deck , maker of trading cards and autographed sports memorabilia has stuck with Woods. “Upper Deck will maintain its exclusive agreement with Tiger in both our sports cards and memorabilia categories, and we look forward to his eventual return to the PGA Tour,” Richard McWilliam, chief executive officer, said in a statement Dec. 15. “Tiger and his family have our full support.”

TAG Heuer, watchmaker that uses Tiger Woods as a brand ambassador is "evaluating" their ties with Tiger Woods but has not made any final decisions. They still have Tiger listed on their "Stars & Glamour" page.

NetJets Inc, the fractional-ownership aviation corporation (owned by Berkshire Hathaway) has listed Woods as one of their prominent personalities and has not pulled a video highlighting the golfer as a fractional owner. 

In a world where we are known by our associations, it's really no surprise that many of Tiger's sponsors have dropped him like the latest scarlet-letter-wearing poster-child of fame and fortune. Celebrities are no different than the rest of us with regards to being seen by others: We always want our good sides presented. However, the majority of time we're not  that good.

A friend of mine had a favorite saying she directed toward me all the time: "You are not perfect. Get over it." Neither is Tiger Woods. I suggest we get over it.


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About the Author

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or get in touch with Jeff on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading!

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