EA Games One of Few to Stick with Woods

26 01 2010

In my last post of 2009, I argued that Tiger Woods’ sponsors and true fans would not abandon him because of his “transgressions.”

Luckily, I included this disclaimer: unless – that is – his personal life starts affecting his professional life, because only two of his sponsors have faithfully stood by him.

If Woods had immediately hit the course, he would have reminded his fans – and his sponsors – why he was their favorite in the first place: the guy can golf.

But Woods is M.I.A. and the majority of his sponsors responded by ditching him.  As I said in my last post, this is a bad move because Woods will be back.  And when he is, corporations will be lining up to sign deals.

EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 to be released in June (http://tinyurl.com/yjtsn2r)

Nike and EA Sports seem to be the only original sponsors who will still be with Woods when he decides to step back onto the course.  Since the golfer’s Thanksgiving accident, the two brands have continued their sponsorship deals.  EA Sports is continuing its plans to release its Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 in June.

EA Sports president Peter Moore recently talked to USA Today about the company’s decision to stick with the Tiger Woods brand, as well as the impact of Tiger’s absence on the PGA:

Tiger the golfer is what this is all about and we recognize some of the personal challenges he is having right now because he is very important to us. He is the world’s greatest golfer of this current era. He is (the Associated Press’) greatest athlete of the decade. We stand by him for everything he has done to build our franchise. And this latest announcement both of the new console games, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, which we announced in conjunction with our open beta of Tiger Woods Online, which is a strategic imperative for the company not just EA Sports — it all comes under the brand of Tiger Woods and we continue to stand by him as the world’s greatest golfer.

The video game’s release will be the first true gauge of Woods’ fan appeal.  If the game lives up to previous tours’ sales, fellow sponsors will likely lighten up, and – hopefully – Woods will hit the course.



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