Can the golf media finally admit the Tiger Woods Era in golf ended five years ago with the dual scandals of Galea and sex? In the span of one month in the fall of 2009, both Woods’s accomplishments and image turned into eternal punch lines.
During the Tiger Woods Era, he had sponsors such as Accenture, AT&T, Gillette, and Gatorade. AT&T was the bag sponsor of the “I am Tiger Woods” role model to end all role models.
My, how times have changed.
Since AT&T peeled its name off Woods’s bag in the wake of the twin scandals, Woods has seen two replacement sponsors. First was Fuse Science, a shady operation that bought a shell company as a way to become a public company with tradeable stock. Woods appeared live on CNBC to promote this company, but investors and consumers ultimately said, “No, thanks.” Within three years the stock had fallen to zero.
Last year, Woods signed a deal with MusclePharm, another “supplement company.” (In case you don’t know, these supplements companies have a very bad reputation, regularly selling products that are either banned or ineffective.) MusclePharm seems almost as suspect as Fuse Science (as this article written six months before Woods joined them describes; note the similar strategy of using a shell company to “go public”; one must assume “Steinie” was aware of MusclePharm’s business model and financials when he agreed to the deal, telling us a lot about the sad state of Woods’s marketability at this point) and, while it’s early yet, the stock price looks like it might be on the same trajectory as Fuse:
Isn’t it funny how Jim Furyk and his association with 5-Hour Energy is a common source of jokes and mockery despite the fact that its manufacturer (Innovation Ventures) has been a fast growing company? Tiger Woods’s association with Fuse Science and MusclePharm, on the other hand, has led to no such mockery, even though those two companies are far less successful (and far more shady) than 5-Hour Energy.