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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tiger Woods lose $10m sponsor Tag Heuer gives him the elbow

Luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer has ended its sponsorship deal with Tiger Woods after the golfer’s contract ran out last month.

“Golf World” executive editor Ron Sirak tweeted the confirmation Friday evening- “Tiger’s agent confirms Woods’ Tag Heuer relationship has expired.”

Tag Heuer, the Swiss company owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Loius Vuitton SA (MC) signed Woods in 2002. The watch-making house began limiting their use of Woods’ image in advertisements after the November 2009 car accident which resulted in the golfer's admission of marital infidelity.

The 16-time World Golf Championship winner has not won a tournament since the Australian Masters in 2009, one week before the accident. Woods has lost corporate sponsorship agreements with Gillette, Gatorade, Accenture, AT&T, and Golf Digest within the past 19 months.

Forbes magazine recently speculated that Woods’ fortune could be running out, but commercial contracts remain between the golfer and Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS), Nike Inc. (NKE), Upper Deck, Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets Inc., and TLC Vision Corp.

Woods announced July 20 that he was firing his caddy of 12 years, Steve Williams. A week later via Twitter, Woods stated that long-time friend Bryon Bell would caddy for him during the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods was listed 28th in the Official World Golf Ranking upon entering the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. During the invitational, he finished 37th, 18 shots behind the winner Adam Scott, who now uses Woods’ former caddy Williams.

The contract is believed to be worth more than $10m and the Swiss firm are the sixth major sponsors to drop Woods following revelations about his personal life two years ago.
The Swiss watchmaker suspended use of Woods’ image in the US after details of his extramarital affairs came to light following a 2009 crash outside his Orlando, Florida home.
Woods was accused of cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren with as many as 14 women, including high class escorts and Las Vegas cocktail servers.
He was also linked to several porn stars who claimed they had affairs lasting several years with the golfer who has always prided himself on his clean cut, family image.

Slippery slope: Woods, pictured today, has already lost Gillette, Gatorade, Accenture, AT&T and Golf
After seeing help at a rehabilitation centre following a public apology to his family and friends sponsors, including Gillette, Gatorade, Accenture, AT&T and Golf Digest deserted the world's most famous sportsman.
The series of allegations was reported to have cost Woods more than $25m in sponsorship deals.
Other major sponsors, including Nike and EA Sports, stood by the sportsman who ended up paying his wife almost $100m in a divorce settlement.

Golf websites also reported that Woods has had his sponsorship pay cut by Nike for failing to win any major tournament in the last two years.
Woods is still estimated to be worth about $500 million but since his private life was laid bare he has not won a single tournament and has struggled to find his best form.
He made his comeback this week from a three-month injury lay-off due to knee and Achilles knocks at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
But it did not go well, with Woods finishing way off the pace in tied 37th.

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