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SBD/Issue 59/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Tawdry Tiger Scandal Hits PGA Tour At Difficult, Crucial Time
Published December 7, 2009
|Will Woods Scandal Damage
PGA Tour's Wholesome Image?
SCANDAL COULD TARNISH RECORD CHASE: In K.C., Jason Whitlock wrote the media coverage of Woods "will forever change the way the sports world is covered," and it also will have a "dramatic, negative impact on Tiger's pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record for career major championships." Woods is going to face "severe harassment as he pursues Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships ... for allegedly cheating on his blonde-haired, blue-eyed wife." Woods' pursuit is "going to resemble" Hank Aaron's pursuit of Babe Ruth's home run record. His galleries "will be peppered with angry detractors who believe Tiger's infidelity makes him unworthy of holding golf's most prestigious record." There also will be a "contentious racial division as Tiger chases Nicklaus" (K.C. STAR, 12/6).
Attendance At Challenge About
The Same Even Without Tiger
RETURN COULD BE LUCRATIVE: CNBC.com's Darren Rovell wrote while it is "not exactly known" at which tournament Woods will return to competition in '10, the "best guess is probably" the San Diego Open. Woods' potential return at the event "might help the tournament formerly known as the Buick Invitational land the title sponsor it has been looking for since General Motors' restructuring plans earlier this year resulted in it ditching its title sponsorships of golf tournaments." While tourney Exec Dir Tom Wilson "can't guarantee anything" to potential sponsors about Woods' return, "hinting at this being the tournament where Tiger makes his comeback could help him close the deal." It is "likely that this tournament will get the most media exposure a non-major has ever received." Joyce Julius & Associates VP/Research & Development Eric Wright said that a title sponsor would get $15-20M in "equivalent advertising from this year's event alone, thanks to at least 500 million impressions in North America from internet, print and radio coverage" (CNBC.com, 12/4). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Jon Show writes if Woods were to return at the February 11-14 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am or February 18-21 Accenture Match Play Championship, it "might draw negative attention to AT&T and Accenture -- two of Woods' sponsors -- or could be viewed as a safe haven for his return." GMR Marketing Senior VP Ed Kiernan: "Given his existing association with the brands, I see his return at one of those tournaments as a natural" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/7 issue).