Reuters: World No 1 golfer Tiger Woods, engulfed in a sex scandal, has been dumped by one big corporate sponsor, while some have been supportive and others are reevaluating their relationships with the top product pitchman.
Here are details of positions taken by sponsors:
- Accenture - Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture said on Sunday it was ending its six-year sponsorship deal with Woods. "The company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising," it said. Accenture is the first major sponsor to drop Woods outright.
- Gillette - Shaving products maker Gillette, a unit of US consumer giant Procter & Gamble, pulled away from Woods but did not sever ties completely. The company featured Woods in its razor commercials. "As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs," it said.
- Nike - The American athletic shoe maker, perhaps Woods' best-known endorsement, is standing by their man. "I think he's been really great," Nike chairman Phil Knight told Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal in an interview published on Monday. "When his career is over, you'll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip, but the media is making a big deal out of it right now."
- Pepsico - US drink and snack manufacturer PepsiCo's Gatorade unit decided before the sex scandal that it would drop its "Tiger Focus" drink. The company said it would "hope to share more about our 2010 plans soon."
- AT&T - The US telecommunications giant said it was evaluating its relationship with Woods.
- Tag Heuer - Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, a unit of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, told the UK Press Association on Monday that it had not made a decision on its seven-year relationship with Woods. "We are not announcing that we will keep Tiger and we are not announcing we will drop Tiger Woods," Francoise Bezzola, vice-president of communications, was quoted as saying.
- Electronic Arts, Tlc Vision Corp, Berkshire Hathaway unit NETJETS - All announced they were standing by Woods, but that was before he admitted in a statement on Friday that he had cheated on his wife.
- Pga Tour - Professional golf faces a tough time with the indefinite loss of its biggest draw. TV ratings slumped nearly 50 per cent when he took eight months off to rehabilitate an injured leg. The Tour had already lost corporate sponsors due to economic conditions. "We look forward to Tiger's return to the PGA Tour when he determines the time is right for him," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said on Friday.