Ben Wise on Branding

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Tiger’s Dilemma

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After last weeks announcement that AT&T is dropping their sponsorship of Tiger Woods (see coverage here and here), Tiger’s list of sponsors is starting to dwindle. AT&T joins Accenture and Gatorade (Pepsi) in cutting their ties with the golf star. Those sticking with Tiger through the rough patch include (for now) Nike, TAG Heuer, Electronic Arts, and P&G.

The Tiger Woods brand is all about excellence. This undoubtedly includes his athletic ability, but it is not limited to golf. For a long time, Tiger has been the ideal role model in many areas of life: excellence in sports, excellence in business, excellence in his personal life. While the recent scandal won’t affect his golf game (assuming he resumes playing soon enough), it does impact the aura of excellence that other brands wanted to be associated with.

So Nike and EA will probably stick with him as they are most interested in the part of the Tiger brand that involves sports. But Accenture, and to a lesser extent Gatorade, were more interested in overall excellence, which Tiger no longer delivers on. For this reason, I wouldn’ t be too surprised if he lost another big name sponsorship with whom his personal brand no longer resonates.

From the list above, my bet would be on TAG, whose definition of excellence probably includes things like ‘reliability’ and ‘class’. I just don’t think that Tiger can deliver on those attributes anymore, even if he wins a dozen more championships.

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Written by benwisebranding

January 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Sports, Tiger

Tagged with , ,