yes, i’m going to be talking about tiger woods.
after the, shall we say, transgressions, on the part of tiger woods, we’ve seen the inevitable corporate fallout happen on pretty much every media outlet. accenture dropped ties with tiger in december, followed shortly by at&t. pepsico’s gatorade brand followed suit, ending their sponsorship in february. even one of tiger’s most steadfast corporate allies, gillette, claimed they were going to scale back on using the tiger woods image in their advertising campaigns – now relying heavily on their primary front man, roger federer.
on the video game front, electronic arts has stuck by him. since 1998 and the playstation era, every year has seen a new version of the tiger woods pga tour franchise, generally featuring a triumphant tiger in one of his various victory poses from a number of tour wins. now going into tiger woods pga tour ’11, the cover looks a liiiiiitle bit different, doesn’t it? take a look. instead of el tigre alone and triumphant, his cover is now shared with northern ireland’s rory mcilroy, the 20 year old upstart who is shaping up to be a bigtime player after ranking well in recent pga tournaments. according to EA, mcilroy appeals to a younger generation of golf fans, and with the huge successes of european players on the tour, a european golfer should share the cover spotlight. that all makes complete sense on paper, but the timing makes it kind of tough to believe with all of the current and highly publicized proceedings. many people were surprised that EA even held onto the tiger woods name at all to sell their golf game.
so after all of the other drops, why did EA hang on? when asked even back in january they renewed their support in tiger. and recently on CNBC, EA sports’ head honcho peter moore gave some more details: “we are a very different company, in regards to our relationship with tiger, than other sponsors that have cut bait. he’s in the game. he’s not an arm’s length endorser.” translation – he’s a character in the game, not using the company’s products on tv, like shaving with a gillette fusion 3 million or sipping tiger-branded gatorade. keeping tiger woods out of a golf game would be like releasing the next version of nba live without lebron james, or madden 11 without adrian peterson. or street fighter without ryu. i think you get the idea.
tiger woods is still one of the most explosive sports figures in all of history, regardless of his “swing off the green. EA sports forged a relationship with him based on SPORTS, and in all of their statements have been very specific in indicating that they stand by tiger woods the golfer. others tend to agree, since sales of tiger woods ’10 were only marginally different than tiger woods ’09. tiger ’11 should still deliver. this upcoming release of tiger 11 and tiger pga tour online somewhat coincides with his real-life triumphant return to the links at the masters golf tournament. ratings are going to be through the roof, and the only thing that may rival his physical presence on the tour will still be his digital presence through EA.
Nice Tiger Woods write up!