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Tiger Woods: Why We Care (and what we can learn)

Tiger the Golfer

Tiger the Golfer

Just about every crisis PR person on the planet says that Tiger Woods is handling his current PR problem in the wrong way. A quick recap: admit your problem, come out with it fast, don't let someone else break your news.

OK, with that aside let me point out why we care: Tiger Woods isn't just a person, he isn't just a golfer, he's a brand. For many companies he is their face and their reputation. Like many sports celebrities, his golfing is just a means to an end, it's a way for him to keep a public persona so he can keep the ad dollars flowing.

How much? In September Forbes noted that Tiger became the world's first $1 Billion athlete. ESPN predicted that Woods could be the $6 Billion man. In that article Rick Burton, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon called Tiger "the perfect earner."

And we, as consumers, continue to buy what Tiger tries to sell us. If we didn't his promotional scheme wouldn't work. So when callers on radio talk shows say things like "we should leave the guy alone," they're wrong.

Tiger the Famiy Man

Tiger the Famiy Man

We never left him alone, and it's made him a wealthy man. But it's also made him a public man.

Tiger the Brand

Tiger the Brand

That being said, we can learn a lot from this since we are now our own personal brands. Yes, you have a brand, you use it every time you Tweet, every time you put something on Facebook and every time you add to Google's ever growing library that tells the story of you.

But worse, that brand can be threatened if you end up on the wrong end of a police investigation, or just have someone start badmouthing you on a blog. So listen to the advice of the crisis PR folks and file it away.

Just in case you find yourself in a car accident at 2:15am.

"Tiger Woods is the perfect earner," says Rick Burton, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon.
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1 comment to Tiger Woods: Why We Care (and what we can learn)

  • Hi Fresh Ones,

    I love your insight on Tiger the Brand, and it makes perfect sense for a brand. But for people who are their brand, think movie stars and singers too, well, they are people. Sometimes what is important for the brand does not help the person. In in those cases, I think the person has to win out. It is easier to repair a brand than a person.

    In Tiger’s case, for the man it was important for him to have the affair(s) in doubt. Once that was no longer possible, he moved to PR101: admit fault, claim it was a private matter and move on. Basic brand damage control.

    You closing analysis is correct. If you are a brand and you crash the car at 2:00 a.m., make sure you have your crisis communications team on speed dial.

    Cheers,
    Tony