ven as Tiger Woods' sponsors continue to run ads starring the scandal-plagued golfer in national newspapers, commentators are questioning whether corporate partners such as Nike, Gatorade, Gillette, and AT&T will stand by him as the list of alleged Woods' mistresses grows. Can Woods, who's acknowledged "transgressions," hang onto his rich package of endorsement deals—which reportedly supply 90 percent of his income? (Watch a report about Tiger Woods' sponsors sticking by him)
Yes — the risks of dropping Woods are too great: Tiger Woods' sponsors are functionally like "part of his family," says celebrity branding expert David Schwab, as quoted by Golf Digest. They have "long-term relationships" with Tiger, and realize that severing his endorsement deals will anger his fans. "That's why brands typically weather the storm" when celebrity endorsers fall on hard times.
"Sponsors back Woods"
Their shareholders may not agree: Not long ago, it was the "wronged wife" who stood by her man, says Margareta Pagano at The Independent. Now, big-brand sponsors think that's their job, but their shareholders may well think there's a better way to sell shoes and razors than throwing money at spoiled celebrities.
"Does the brand maketh the sportsman?"
Rich male fans will stick by Woods, so his sponsors will too: Woods' appeal, says Peter Keating at ESPN, is strongest among upscale men, a demographic segment that's not about to "turn their backs" on Woods over alleged adultery. And companies trying to market produces to this lucrative demographic know this all too well.
"Woods is in no danger of losing sponsors"
SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST ON TIGER WOODS:
• Can Oprah save Tiger?
• Tiger Woods owns up
• From Taiwan: A CGI 'reenactment' of Tiger Woods domestic dispute
• The Tiger Woods scandal grows
• Who is Rachel Uchitel? A timeline of the alleged mistress's life
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How my boyfriend and I learned to live on one income
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Why conservatives see rural America as the 'real' America
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Why you're probably drinking your beer all wrong
Subscribe to the Week