This past weekend saw the ‘return of Tiger Woods’ to the sport of golf. Even though he didn’t win the Masters, analysts say that he made a pretty decent showing – finishing fourth, five strokes behind Mickelson. Even though Tiger wasn’t all too keen on his performance, advertisers and organizers of the sport are overjoyed that they have their golden goose back on the greens. Heck, according to TheStreet.com, investors are saying that the Tiger Woods Scandal is over…
Perhaps that is why Tiger moved forward with (in his words) the “very apropos” NIKE ad that, quite frankly, has me shaking my head in disappointment.
Tiger defends the spot, saying that “any son who has lost a father, and who meant so much in their life, I think they would understand the spot.”
I’m not even going approach that statement, because…quite frankly, it’s ridiculous. HOWEVER, I will say this: if anyone ever doubted what Tiger really wants these days, all you have to do is look at that ad – Tiger wants everything to go ‘back to normal’ (whatever that means). Why else would he put on that sad face……?……What other reason would there be for him to ok the use of his late father’s voice in this piece……?
Blah – Blah – Blah.
Fact of the matter is: when a company jumps in the waters of Tiger Woods, that brand gets a little muddy.
- NIKE, Gillette, TAG Heuer and the rest of his sponsors now have to make sure that they have a plan of action that addresses potential issues when the ‘Tiger Woods’ brand is involved.
- Tiger’s sponsors now have to be ready to defend their decision to work with him.
- As long as they stay with Tiger, these guys need to have a bit of a disclaimer whenever they talk about their investment in pro golf.
It is so important to have a spokesperson that not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. No posers and no fakers are allowed. Even if you screw up, you have to take care of the snafu quickly and decisively – with sincerity and integrity.
Tiger did not. And because of it, his image and reputation have been seriously tarnished. Not only do you second guess his intentions, but the intentions of his sponsors.
Don’t get me wrong – everyone wants to make money and get their brand out there. But at what cost…? How do you keep your corporate waters from getting too muddy…? What is driving you…?