Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where does Tiger Woods’ allegiance lie?

Tiger’s Image has taken some pretty brutal punches from the media which is expected, but I did not expect his fans to react the way they did. Tiger is one helluva golfer, but that image of him fist pumping (not to be confused with the type seen on MTV) on the 18th at Augusta National to win another major championship has been lost in his inability to “keep a wrinkle in it” (Quote courtesy of Mrs. Murray). I’m not condoning the behavior by any means, but Tiger only needs to answer questions and face scrutiny from his family and friends. He has absolutely zero obligations to answer questions and take the criticism from his fans.

We all became fans and fell in love with Tiger Woods because of his ability to punish a golf ball off the tee, his precision ball striking ability with his irons, and his ability to stand up to Nike by telling them that they make inferior putters. Tiger’s, Scotty Cameron putter made by Titleist®, and his black Ping® grip is a staple on the PGA Tour, and his faithfulness to that putter has never been in question. Sure, he has shopped around for something better, but always comes back to the best putter in the game. We should not be surprised by his behavior, as he couldn’t even commit to Stanford for four years; he left just after two years.

We were never allowed into Tiger’s life beyond what we saw between the tee box and the green, and it should stay that way. The only time Tiger would need to answer to his fans, is if/when he gets caught taking performance enhancing drugs. Disobeying our trust on the golf course is definite grounds for termination, but committing adultery is for him and his family to judge, not his fans.

The brand that has become Tiger Woods will never be the same, but he can take certain steps to rebuild his empire. In 1993 Charles Barkley came out and expressed that Athletes should not be considered role models. Soon after the statement, Nike released a commercial starring Barkley which helped save his image. He ends the commercial by saying, “Just because I dunk a basketball, doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”

Since Nike is remaining loyal to Tiger, they should recreate this commercial and air it during his first tournament back to competition. They need to end the commercial by focusing on Tiger’s career. “Just because I am a two-time U.S. Amateur champion, and have 71 PGA Tour victories, 14 of which are Major Championships, and currently rank #1 in the world, does not make me a role model. What makes me a role model is my dedication to the youth, and helping millions of kids realize their true potential through the Tiger Woods Foundation. I am pleased to announce that all winnings I receive in 2010 will go to helping the youth of tomorrow make their career dreams come true...that is, after Elin takes her 40% of course.”

Who wouldn’t support a guy who splits his paycheck between his charity and his wife?

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 classic “The Scarlet Letter” and the main character Hester Prynne, can relate to what Tiger is going through. Although Tiger hasn’t fathered any bastard children that we know of, he certainly has faced public scrutiny for committing adultery. Tiger will never have a to wear a giant scarlet “A” on his chest, but he will be constantly reminded by his family of the acts of infidelity, just like Hester Prynne had Pearl to remind her of her adulteress behavior.

Charles Barkley: I Am Not a Role Model” Nike Commercial.


  1. Don't let your envy/love for the golf game that Tiger and myself have muddle up your perception of the moral and ethical obligations this individual holds.
    There is an obligation/realization that transcends one's selfish desires when you are empowered with the ability to affect the global consciousness.
    I'm tired of such individuals claiming, "I'm not a role model", that is only the case when their public image is tanking and not when they are happy to slap their face all over Gillette, Tag Heuer, and whatever other company is willing to pay them disgusting amounts of money to portray their company with the qualities and characteristics that the individual supposedly represents.
    "Tag Heuer, the watch to wear on an adultress Saturday night."
    I want to hear Tiger come out and apologize to the millions of kids/(pathetic adults) who praise the green grass he walks on. Tell the world that an individual placed in his shoes has obligations in addition to and beyond playing golf, the PGA, and his family.

    Did you really reference Charles Barkley as part of your argument and not expect this type of retort.

  2. Cad, this was a well thought out and eloquently written response. I expect nothing less from you.

    I brought in Barkley from a public relations perspective, and I am not comparing these two individuals by the same moral and ethical standards. Barkley has never asked to affect the global consciousness like Tiger has. Barkley doesn't have a foundation working with youth with his name tattooed all over door; Tiger does, which makes him a public figure who has asked for those moral and ethical responsibilities. The campaign did a great job preserving what was left of Barkley's image, but now they need to take it one step further and address those obligations that he has chosen to neglect for some time now.

    The commercial that I have proposed asks people to appreciate what he has accomplished as an athlete on the golf course, but also allows him the opportunity to apologize to the millions of fans who once worshiped him, and let them know that he is not larger than the game of life.

    This will give him the opportunity to earn at least a little respect back, and also allow him to be associated with his positive actions away from the course. His athletic ability will always be there, but now is a time to focus on the image that he wants fans to remember him for. His contributions and dedication to working with kids in the community will do a lot for his image.

    He will always have a black cloud above his head that follows him wherever he goes. When companies pay him absurd amounts of money to represent their company, they expect him to play by that company's ethical standards; as he should.

    You know damn well that I don't condone that behavior, and the sex addict excuse does not excuse him from doing wrong, but in many peoples eyes it does, and that's the sad part. We can root against him on Sunday's, but don't be surprised if he's the one holding the trophy on the 18th green...he doesn't need the money, this is why i proposed he donate ALL of it.