When the Tiger Woods scandal broke, the world cringed. But maybe none of us cringed as hard as the folks at Nike Golf. From 1996 – 2006 they supported Woods with $140 million in sponsorships. The deal was renewed in 2006 for presumably upwards of 100 million. So what will Nike do now that Tiger’s reputation is ruined? Support the icon of their brand and let it reflect on their reputation? Or drop him and try to save face before any more bad news surfaces?
This is the very expensive question that many in the advertising world are asking. With huge implications for the brand either way, Nike has a crisis on their hands. What would you do if you were in Nike’s PR/Marketing departments? We took a little poll around the office to see where people stood on the issue. Let us know what YOU think in our comments below.
Darren Easton, Creative Director: I say keep him. According to research, Mr. Whipple was the most hated brand icon in advertising history and yet Charmin was the #1 toilet paper brand for 20 years. People talked about him because they didn’t like him. So what?… they talked about him.
Lucas Hanyok, graphic designer: I’m not sure what Nike will do. I am one who believes someone’s personal problems should be left alone. To me he is still an icon of GOLF. Nike should continue to support him as an icon of the sport. On the other hand your personal life becomes your brand in ways, and will stick with you no matter what you do. Your personal brand is not just one thing that you do, it is the total of all things you do. If I were Tiger I would keep my stance as: “leave me alone, I’m really good at golf”
Dave Cyphers, owner (obviously joking!): I think they should pay him more; he just added a whole new dimension to “Just Do It.”
So there you have it, some insight from our greatest minds. What is your stance? Do you think Nike should give Tiger the boot or support him?