US: PepsiCo drops Tiger Woods as Gatorade sponsor
US soft drinks maker PepsiCo has dropped Tiger Woods as a sponsor for its Gatorade sports drink.
A spokesperson for PepsiCo told just-drinks today (1 March) that it “no longer sees a role” for Woods in its marketing efforts.
The company added: “We wish him all the best”.
PepsiCo signed a multi-year licensing deal with Tiger Woods in 2007.
But, since media speculation broke last year over the golfer's extra-marital affairs, Woods has been dropped by Accenture and AT&T and both Tag Heuer and Gillette have reportedly slimmed down his role in their ad campaigns.
In December 2009, PepsiCo confirmed that it would drop its Gatorade Tiger Focus drink. The firm, however, denied any link with the news surrounding the private life of the product's inspiration - Woods.
It initially launched Gatorade Tiger in 2008 and said other co-branded products would follow.
But, Gatorade sales have struggled in the last 12 months and in late December PepsiCo confirmed a US$30m investment in 2010 to rejuvenate the brand.
The investment will include improvements in packaging and ingredients, with the removal of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from all Gatorade drinks.
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