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SBD Global/May 24, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

García's Racist Comments Toward Woods Could Cost Spaniard Sponsorship Money

Sergio García's jibe at Tiger Woods could cost the Spanish player sponsor dollars.
Sergio García "has issued an emotional apology to Tiger Woods for his racist jibe" against the world No. 1, but is still "facing the prospect of losing millions of pounds in sponsorship deals," acording to James Corrigan of the London TELEGRAPH. García met European Tour CEO George O’Grady and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem Wednesday. O'Grady said, "Sergio expressed very deep and sincere regret for his unguarded and, in his own words, ‘stupid’ remark and we are also aware of his statement of apology. Following our meeting, we have accepted his full apology and we consider the matter closed." While the Tours might consider the issue closed, García "is aware that his sponsors do not yet feel the same." His main backer is TaylorMade-adidas, which said that his comment was “offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s values and corporate culture.” TaylorMade-adidas added, "We discussed with Sergio that his comments are out of bounds and we are continuing to review the matter.” The review involves the Californian company’s human resources division, and insiders claimed that "it is possible that García’s contract would be cancelled." Industry figures estimated the annual worth of the performance-related deal at up to £5.32M ($7.6M). Another sponsor, Omega, is "also likely to launch a review, although the watchmaker could not be contacted" (TELEGRAPH, 5/22).
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