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Business columns: Tiger Woods: Great golfer, poor pitchman

Tiger Woods “was never worth the vast sums he was paid to endorse cars, razors, and sports drinks,” said Matthew DeBord in TheBigMoney.com.

Matthew DeBordTheBigMoney.com

They’ll never admit it, said Matthew DeBord, but Tiger Woods’ corporate sponsors might have secretly welcomed the sex scandal that hurt the golfer’s image and cost him most of his endorsement deals. Simply put, “he was never worth the vast sums he was paid to endorse cars, razors, and sports drinks.”

Consider Woods’ lucrative deal with Buick, which starting in 1999 paid him roughly $7.5 million a year for his endorsement. During the eight years Woods was associated with the carmaker, its sales plummeted from 500,000 vehicles a year to 200,000. Clearly, Woods’ “bold, aggressive competitive style” didn’t change the Buick’s image as a maker of “AARP-mobiles.” Woods’ $100 million endorsement of Gatorade, a brand owned by PepsiCo, was no more successful. The “Tiger Focus” sports drink he helped design was “a complete bust.” Apparently Tiger and PepsiCo both forgot that “golf is the only major sport that people routinely play while drinking beer.”

Woods may very well post more victories on the golf course. But as a corporate pitchman, his glory days are behind him.

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