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Accenture ends sponsorship of Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

This came to me as no surprise. It’s the right thing to do. It was all over the news. Accenture staff even received an email notification to inform them of this. Speculation on online media has stated that his average loss in sponsorships could be as much as US$50million per scandal! Looking at the number of women that has come forward, that’s easily US$500 million down the drain! Below is an excerpt from MSN News:

A major sponsor of Tiger Woods announced Sunday it was ending its six-year ties with the golf star, saying he “is no longer the right representative” after a blistering sex scandal.

The billionaire athlete and married father of two, once a ubiquitous figure with priceless advertising value, has seen his squeaky clean image decimated by a string of affairs with a porn star, cocktail waitress and other women, raising concerns of sponsors pulling away from golf.

“For the past six years, Accenture and Tiger Woods have had a very successful sponsorship arrangement and his achievements on the golf course have been a powerful metaphor for business success in Accenture’s advertising,” the Dublin-based technology, management and outsourcing consultancy said in a statement.

“However, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising. Accenture said that it wishes only the best for Tiger Woods and his family.”

The statement marked the end of a relationship with the 14-time major champion at the center of ad campaigns that once included slogans like “Go on. Be a Tiger,” or “We know what it takes to be a Tiger.”

The company’s website once read: “Famous not only for his success on the golf course, Tiger Woods is equally renowned for his work ethic, focus and commitment to continual improvement.”

Accenture, which had earlier removed an image of Woods from its website, said it would “immediately” transition to a new advertising campaign, with plans for a “major” effort to launch next year.

But it was only the latest in a series of companies to reevaluate their sponsorship of the world’s top golfer ever since Woods crashed his Cadillac Escalade SUV into a tree and fire hydrant just outside his home in bizarre circumstances on November 27, unleashing a media firestorm.

Razormaker Gillette announced Saturday it would phase him out of advertisements while he takes a break from golf, calling it a supportive move.

“As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs,” the company said, said without announcing a timetable for the resumption of use of the golfer’s image.

One major concern from the golf world is that with Tiger taking “indefinite” leave from golf to fix his problems, this would be a major blow to the golf industry. Viewership has plummet during the 6-ish months when he was on leave for his knee injury, and now with this scandal and him not playing for a few months, the popularity of golf might just drop to the point it being a “rich old man’s game”. Even though it might take a while for that to actually happen (months or years, in fact), unless Tiger picks up his club sooner, he might just sink the whole industry with him.

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