Now that Tiger Woods has come out of sex rehab hibernation — if only momentarily — to beg for a bit of forgiveness from the public that once loved him, the question still remains: Will he ever get close to regaining his status as the poster boy for poster boys?
Before the Thanksgiving weekend domestic dispute with his wife Elin that quickly erupted into a global sex scandal encompassing over a dozen different women, Tiger was raking in more than $100 million dollars in endorsement deals from a wide variety of corporate sponsors. From sports-related companies like Nike and Gatorade to products like Gillette razors and Tag Heuer watches to completely random ads for outsourcing behemoth Accenture, Tiger was the grinning, golfing golden boy.
“I don’t think Tiger can ever recapture what he had, but he can be a viable representative down the road,” Neal Pilson, former CBS Sports president told Reuters. “There are lots of potential advertisers out there.”
Following the revelations of extramarital affairs, Tiger was dropped from several endorsement deals, most notably by Accenture and Gillette. General Motors chose not to renew its deal with the golf great.
Tag Heuer initially announced it was kicking Tiger to the curb, only to do an about-face a few weeks later, saying the company “stands with Tiger Woods.” Additionally, Electronic Arts, the publisher of Woods’ hugely popular golf video game, has said they plan to continue the series.
Nike, who had remained relatively quiet about their deal with Tiger, released a statement after today’s press conference saying they fully support him.
And during his televised speech, Tiger publicly thanked Accenture, perhaps hinting that they might rekindle their lucrative branding romance.
So what do you think? Will this all blow over for Tiger, or has he done permanent damage?