Tiger Woods Dropped By First Major Endorser
Two days after announcing he'll take an indefinite break from the sport of golf to focus on his marriage, Tiger Woods has lost his first major endorsement deal as a result of his alleged infidelities.
Global consulting firm Accenture announced they were cutting all ties with Woods Sunday, confirming he is "no longer the right representative" after the "circumstances of the last two weeks." Woods served as pitchman for the last six years, appearing in the company's "Go ahead, be a Tiger" ad campaign.
However, another of Woods' major backers, Nike, is willing to retain him as a spokesman.
"Tiger has been part of Nike for more than a decade. He is the best golfer in the world and one of the greatest athletes of his era. We look forward to his return to golf," the sportswear and equipment supplier tells Usmagazine.com in a statement. "He and his family have Nike's full support."
On Friday, Woods stunned the sports world by announcing he would be taking a break from golf to save his marriage to Swedish supermodel Elin Nordegren. Over the past two weeks, no fewer than 13 women have alleged affairs with Woods, dad to daughter Sam, 2, and son Charlie, 10 months.
"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," Woods said in the statement posted on his Web site.
"I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person," he said. "It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."
Woods' status with consumers has dropped from sixth to 24th on a list of celebrity endorsers, according to Bloomberg.
On Saturday, one of Woods' other major sponsors, Gillette, announced they will phase the golfer out of its advertising. The Procter & Gamble company was the first to distance themselves from Woods, who last appeared in a primetime TV ad for Gillette on Nov. 29.
"As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs," a company spokesman said.
Woods earns around $110 million a year from endorsements and tournaments, with Nike, Gillette and Pepsi among the top endorsers.