Blog: PepsiCo cuts loose from Woods

Michelle Russell | 1 March 2010

When sportsmen as successful as Tiger Woods fall, it’s a long way down and they can take many with them.

PepsiCo has become the latest major company to end its sponsorship deal with the disgraced world number one golfer Tiger Woods.

Slowly but surely his sponsors are backing away, with no definite date for his return to the green.

The news was probably to be expected given the media's spotlight on the golfer's private life.

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.

His 14-minute public television apology for “irresponsible and selfish” behaviour clearly did little to polish his reputation or help his sponsorship deals.

The only support for Woods appears to be from sports equipment giant Nike, which reportedly pays Woods $40m a year…and fellow philanderer and ex-president Bill Clinton, who is no stranger to public humiliation himself. He is said to have called the golfer to offer his support.

While Woods goes through the proverbial mill, the affair is also a reminder of the pitfalls that companies face when they tie themselves to celebrities - who, as we know, are capable of the same "indiscretions" as the rest of us.

Only that theirs make front-page news.


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