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December 20, 2009

Since the tales of infidelity have started to circle around Tiger Woods, large sponsors such as Accenture have cut ties with the athlete. Accenture who has been a sponsor of Tiger Woods in the past 6 years, using his image for campaigns in print, television and airport advertising in 27 countries around the world has terminated the sponsorship deal all together. Other companies such as Gillette, Tag Heuer and AT&T have all decreased the use of Tiger’s image in their campaigns but have not ended their relationship with the athlete. 

Pepsi who named a Gatorade energy drink after Tiger Woods, decided to pull the plug on the drink shortly before the news of Tiger’s car accident made headway. They too decided to scale back the relationship with the pro golfer as opposed to ending it. Golf is considered an upscale sport and some of the products that Woods was promoting are high scale as well. Some of the potential customers for these products are conservative and others would simply feel that Woods no longer represents elegance and luxury. To put in basic terms, Woods is suffering from a negative online image that brands do not want associated with their products.

The fact that it is much harder to build a reputation than to destroy it could not be any truer in this case. Most of us are not celebrities and will never be known to millions of people around the world. We all go about our business and live our lives without the issue of public perception having an effect on the choices we make. Since we are not paid to be a brand we can afford to do what is best in our opinion at any given point provided it is acceptable by our family and friends. 

It was not long ago that comedian David Letterman confessed on national television that he had not been faithful to his wife. Letterman opted to be the one who breaks the news to his fans as opposed to the media. While it is fair to assume that had Tiger Woods announced that he was leaving his wife and new born a few months back his reputation would take a hit, it would certainly not be as bad as things have become for him as of late. However, there are still things that can be done to protect the brand of Tiger Woods brand – but this is an issue for a different post…

 Tiger Woods Accenture



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