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December 03, 2009


Tiger Woods ORM crisis
 
One of the world’s most famous athletes is under media scrutiny after a late night single car accident outside his Florida home. Woods hit a fire hydrant and a tree leaving him bruised and unable to participate in a Golf tournament scheduled to take place in California later this week. Details are still unclear as to what led to this accident but what is known is that Woods crashed his SUV and that a phone call from a neighbors’ house to the police stated that he was unconscious. His wife later told the police that she had used a golf club to break the windows of the car in an attempt to get him out of the vehicle.

The fact that the rear window as well as the front window was smashed raises several questions about the event. This accident is being closely examined after a report in last week The National Enquirer stated that Woods who is married and has a child has been seeing a New York nightclub hostess named Rachel Uchitel and even spent time with her in Australia when he competed in the Australian Masters tournament. The fact that Uchitel has hired a high profile lawyer after the story broke out only increases the speculation that the rumors are true. 

Woods is reportedly the first athlete to earn more than a billion Dollars in his career and his main income is from advertisements. Golf is considered an upscale sport and some of the brands Woods has been paid to promote can be very sensitive to any negative press. For the time being, major sponsors such as Nike and Gatorade have stated that they will stand by Tiger Woods during this difficult time. Woods has only addressed the issue of the accident in a short statement on his website asking for privacy for himself and his family.

The fact that Woods is choosing to keep silent about what has led to this accident could damage his reputation. Although he is a great athlete, part of the success that the Tiger Woods brand has enjoyed is based on the positive image he had for many years. Because more people than ever before are voicing their opinions online via blogs or twitter, thelonger he waits, the more difficult it would be to maintain a positive online reputation.

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