While most of his sponsors are running away faster than a putt on the lightning-fast greens at Augusta, Nike won’t drop Tiger. And it’s clear to me why…Nike has more to lose than the others.
Let’s get one thing straight. Advertisers don’t make moves because of morals. They make moves because of money. I can understand severing ties with Tiger if a company’s selling point is family, but exactly which of his sponsorships was doing that? AT&T? Accenture? Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette? Tag Heuer?
NO, NO, NO AND NO!
Did they really think men would suddenly stop purchasing products pitched by Tiger because he had a series of affairs? In a country where the divorce rate is believed to be 50%? PLEASE!
I think they realized even with pre-disaster Tiger they weren’t pushing enough product but could save big dollars by canceling sponsorship deals. But I don’t believe for a single second they made the moves for anything other than cold hard cash.
Nike, on the other hand, knows its share in the golf market is inextricably tied to Tiger. The popular perception is Nike’s golf equipment is inferior to other major manufacturers, but players who want to be like Tiger will buy Nike because he endorses it. I know it has some other endorsers, but without Tiger, there is no Nike golf. And because of that, Nike will stand by its man.
THERE IT IS!