Tiger the pitchman far from out of the woods

By Associated PressFebruary 20, 2010, 1:38 am

PORTLAND, Ore. – Tiger Woods’ extraordinary apology Friday is the first step toward healing the image of Tiger the man. But Tiger the pitchman still has a long way to go to recover the corporate good will he has squandered.

Marketing experts say rebuilding Tiger Inc. will be possible only when he returns to the golf course. His televised apology Friday left the timing of that in doubt – though he didn’t rule out coming back this year.

That leaves marketers waiting.

“I don’t think anyone would want to rush out for someone, who by his own words, says he still needs treatment,” said Rick Burton, former chief marketing officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee and now a sports marketing professor at Syracuse University.

Woods’ statement was a necessary first step, said Vada Manager, who worked in public relations for Nike for 12 years before leaving to start his own company.

“It would have been difficult for him to return to golf without that happening today,” Manager said.

The statement, he said, included the essential ingredients: a sincere public apology, accountability for his personal behavior and a prescription for how it would be remedied.

“Winning, good behavior and time can be his friends in the long term,” Manager said.

Woods’ strength as pitchman was tied to the perception of athleticism, power and integrity people once associated with him, marketing experts say. Now, his value lies almost solely in his strength as a golfer.

The companies that have stuck most closely by Woods, Nike Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. – which have invested specifically in his athleticism – reiterated their support Friday.

Peter Moore, president of EA Sports, said the company’s long-standing relationship with Woods remains unchanged.

“It was good to see Tiger address the public today, and we’re supportive of his focus toward family and rebuilding his life,” Moore said in a statement. “He remains one of the greatest athletes in history, and as a long-standing partner, we look forward to seeing Tiger back on the golf course when the time is right for him and his family.”

EA’s Tiger Woods-branded video games have pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars for the company over the years.

Nike continued its support of the player that it built its roughly $650 million golf business around.

“Tiger has apologized and made his position clear. Nike fully supports him and his family. We look forward to him returning to golf,” the company said in a written statement Friday.

AT&T Inc. and Accenture, dropped Woods completely in the weeks following the revelations. Others, such as Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette and Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, de-emphasized him in their marketing.

Accenture spokesman Fred Hawrysh said the company had no comment about the announcement other than to say Woods acknowledgment of the fact that the announcement took place at the same time as the Accenture Match Play Championship was “a gracious gesture.”

The golf star’s array of endorsement deals helped him become the first sports star to earn $1 billion – outpacing the likes of Michael Jordan –  according to Forbes.

Ultimately, Woods still has to fix his personal problems before he can rebuild his brand, said John Sweeney, director of sports communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“This is about himself, and that world is on hold,” Sweeney said.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.