Another sponsor sticks by Tiger Woods

December 15, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Tiger Woods got a rare dose of good news today when he learned yet another corporate partner of his was staying on board.

Given the last 19 days of his life, that’s akin to winning a major championship.

Upper Deck (sports cards/memorabilia) today announced they will continue their sponsorship with Woods, marking the fourth major partner in the last week to announce they will continue their marketing association with the world’s #1 golfer. Nike and Electronic Arts (EA Sports) have also stayed the course with Woods, who late last week announced he’s taking an indefinite leave of absence from golf in light of the recent stories of his affairs and marital infidelity.

PepsiCo Inc., parent company of Gatorade, also announced they would continue their partnership with Woods but are discontinuing the production of an exclusive Woods drink – Focus – due to lackluster sales in 2008 and 2009.

Watch-maker Tag Heuer and phone giant AT&T are both in the process of “re-evaluating” the Woods deal, although industry reports indicate Tiger’s AT&T deal is fully guaranteed at $6.5 million per-year for the next three years.  AT&T could, of course, part company with Woods for the sake of keeping their reputation clean and just pay the $19.5 million to Woods as a going-away gift.

Gillette also has Woods under contract and his agreement with them is guaranteed through 2012, but the parent company, Proctor and Gamble, has announced they will not air any Tiger Woods Gillette advertisements for an indefinite period of time.

The only company so far to specifically drop Tiger from their marketing/sponsor family is Accenture, a financial consulting firm that spent $31 million on Woods-related advertising in 2009.  Woods was in the final year of a $20 million/5 year deal with Accenture.

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