As the controversy over Tiger Woods continues to embroil the troubled golfer, there is speculation that his major sponsors will cancel their endorsement deals with him.
As a consumer, I don’t associate the nocturnal activities of Tiger Woods with any of his sponsors. I use Gillette razors which Tiger endorses through television commercials and print media. I am not going to stop using Gillette razors. I should point out that I also don’t use Gillette just because Tiger endorses them, although his being in a television commercial may have made me take notice more than a standard ad may have.
So do companies really think that the average consumer is going to stop buying their products just because someone who endorses their products screws up? I honestly don’t think so. The Australian Rugby League club, The Sydney Roosters has had a rough couple of years on and off the field and their largest sponsor, Samsung, recently pulled the plug on their sponsorship of the club. I don’t buy Samsung not because of their association with the Sydney Roosters but because their products are not attractive to me. If I liked their products then Brad Fittler could do whatever off field indiscretions he wanted. It wouldn’t worry me.
It seems that Tiger will lose a lot of endorsements. Maybe the decision to end any commercial deals with him is because he will be out of the public eye for the next 6 to 12 months while he is on his self imposed exile from golf. It would be interesting to see what his sponsors would have done had Tiger continued to play. That being said, Tiger was out of the game for approx 8 months earlier this year recovering from a knee reconstruction and that didn’t affect his sponsorship dollars.
On the flip side, this does open up a whole new area of sponsorship opportunities with potential sponsorships from companies such as Trojan, Viagra, Adult Sex Shop and Helga’s House of Pain etc.
He is the world’s best golfer and one of the finest athletes to ever play professional sport. I think that most people will forgive his indiscretions once he is back on the golf course, doing what he does best.
Have you ever decided not to purchase a product just because that company was a sponsor of a troubled athlete or team? Do you think that Tiger can bounce back and regain his position as the worlds best golfer? I would like to hear your thoughts below.