There are hundreds of crisis managers and sports marketers giving their take on Tiger Woods. Instead of talking to whoever comes into my e-mail box, I got in touch with the biggest insider I could find who could freely talk about Tiger.
That man is Vada Manager.
Manager worked for Nike for 12 years, last as senior director of global issues management, before leaving to start his own company, Manager Global Consulting, in May.
While at Nike, Manager dealt with the company’s response to its labor issues and athletes like Marion Jones and Kobe Bryant.
Here’s Manager’s take on Tiger’s latest statement and how companies that have deals with him will respond.
The latest statement is truly humanizing. It has shown more insight into Tiger than the world has ever seen before. Although he’s the most exposed athlete, he has also been the world’s most guarded and that has served him well. I feel like this is a pretty unambiguous contrition.
In the long run, this will have no major impact on his endorsements.
I’ve found that winning really is redemptive and he’s had among the longest career horizons in his sport. His ability to win and win more than any other athlete means something. We’ve seen it over and over again. Fans are willing to forgive if you perform. Just look at Alex Rodriguez and how performance changed how people looked at him.
As long as the athlete doesn’t put themselves in chronically bad situations, corporations don’t easily drop its best endorsers. Tiger’s statement today makes it a lot easier for the companies that have deals with him because there’s not a lingering cloud over him. In the short term, it’s definitely uncomfortable. But in the long term, this all will have negligible impact.
While we're at it, two of Tiger's endorsers, Nike and Gatorade issued statements of support and today and reiterated that they will continue to have a relationship with the golfer. AT&T
, which is on Tiger's bag, said they wouldn't have any comment.
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