The once famously private Tiger Woods has burst onto Twitter, promising to open up to fans in a push to restore his scandal-tainted image. Within hours of his first tweet — "What’s up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter!" — the superstar golfer had amassed 143,000 followers. Woods' Twitter relaunch (previously he'd used his account to refer people to his website) is part of a broader PR offensive that saw Woods giving a high-profile ESPN radio interview and penning a Newsweek.com essay called "How I've Redefined Victory." Can Woods tweet his way back into the public's good graces?
Yes, Twitter could help humanize Woods: Tiger Woods' bad behavior has cost him legions of admirers, says Jason Sobel at ESPN. And no matter what he does, his infidelities have left a mark on his legacy. But, at his core, he's a "regular guy who enjoys sports, music, and needling his pals." If he really opens up on Twitter, "it will go a long way toward restoring his image."
"Can Tiger Woods restore his image?"
Tweeting won't save Woods. Winning will: What made Tiger Woods interesting, says Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News, was the way he dominated golf as "only a couple of guys named Nicklaus and Hogan ever had." No one wants him to "buddy up to us" with updates every time he takes the kids grocery shopping. The only way for Tiger to really "reconnect" with his fans is to start winning tournaments again.
"Tiger Woods: One year after fall from grace we realize he's only interesting when he's winning"
At least this will help him take control: Plenty of athletes have succeeded in using Twitter to forge "a direct link with the public," says Lawrence Donegan at Britain's Guardian. Just ask LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal. While Twitter seems an unlikely route for someone who's so "famous for protecting (or at least trying to protect) his privacy," Woods has to do something. And "circumnavigating traditional media outlets" by talking directly to his fans is not a bad way to start.
"Tiger Woods tries out Twitter and gets 30,000 followers in an hour"