Tiger's Toll on Big Biz, Golf and Cheaters

Golfer's scandal leaves cronies in sand trap

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 11:54 AM PDT
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Celebrity Hookups: Ginnifer Goodwin & Josh Dallas

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Woods may feel the sting in his pocketbook from losing his gig as Accenture sponsor, but the consulting company now has to scramble to rebrand itself.

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Tiger Woods has copped to "infidelities" and announced a hiatus from professional golf to try to repair his broken family. But fallout from Woods’ sex scandal continues unabated, especially for these key stakeholders:

  • Accenture, the first company to dump Woods. “Mr. Woods had been featured in Accenture campaigns with the tagline, 'Go On. Be a Tiger,' splashed in business magazines and airport waiting rooms since 2003,” Tim Arango writes for The New York Times. “Since most consumers have no idea what a company like Accenture does, Mr. Woods became the human face of the corporation and a means to extol the corporate virtues of performance and risk-taking.” For the record, it's a business consulting firm.
  • TV Networks. The uncertainty surrounding Woods’ hiatus has thrown a wrench into upcoming negotiations to continue broadcasting the PGA tour, Rachel Cohen reports for The Associated Press. “The networks must decide how much money they're willing to pay the PGA Tour based on how much money they believe they can make from advertisers,” she writes. "If Woods has already returned to the tour, they'll be able to gauge the effect of the scandal on ratings and his level of play. The longer he stays out, the more uncertainty will permeate the negotiations.”
  • Fair-weather golf fans. "While there will be keen interest in Tiger's first tournament back, overall ratings will likely decline as the casual golf viewer who was enticed by Tiger's personal and professional persona will now most likely view him differently," John Rash, a senior vp at ad agency Campbell Mithun, tells Reuters. "Indeed, his aura, which defined an era, is gone, and along with that, some viewers."
  • Would-be cheaters. Web mogul Arianna Huffington tells a panel on ABC’s “This Week” that uncorroborated reports about racy text messages Woods may have sent prove the good ol' days of adultry have passed. “Any man who wants to cheat on his wife, remember texting is the new lipstick on the collar,” she said.
     

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