Sponsors: Should They Get Money Back If Athlete Is A No Show?

Should Sponsors Get Money Back If Athlete Is No Show
Should Sponsors Get Money Back If Athlete Is No Show

We wake up this morning to find out that Tiger Woods, who obviously isn't playing in his own AT&T National, isn't hosting it either. On doctor's orders he needs to rest his left knee, which he just had surgery on. And that includes flying, which causes the knee to swell up.

So not only is Tiger not playing, he's not even shaking hands. That's a tough pill to swallow for sponsors, who I can't imagine had any contingency in their contract for his not playing, let alone not even saying hi.

If you are AT&T, you are mortified to learn this as well as the fact that only five of the world's top 20 entered in the invitational.

But it's really a "What Can You Do?" situation. The way things work today, the power is with the athlete. Tiger isn't going to guarantee he's playing in a tournament or face a financial penalty and neither are other players.

But it's an interesting dilemma. Given the cost of things, at what point should sponsors, or ticket holders for that matter, be able to get some compensation for a lesser expectation? At what point does is the subject to change line after the asterisk just not acceptable?

My view? Though understandable this time, it's not acceptable for AT&T--whose stock is down about 20 percent--that Tiger isn't even at the tournament. But I don't think the ticketholders of the tournament--who paid the extremely affordable $30 for a weekday ticket, $35 for a weekend ticket and $100 for the whole tournament--have any sort of case.

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