The No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, Tiger Woods failed to win his fifth green jacket this weekend at the Masters on Augusta National. Instead, Australian Adam Scott wore the green jacket for the first time. Despite a controversial rule infraction, which resulted in a two-stroke penalty, Woods finished in the top 5 for the 11th time in his career.
It’s hard to believe that on Thanksgiving night 2009 Woods’ life spun out of control both literally and figuratively after a car accident and later acknowledgement of Woods’ marital infidelity. Following that episode, Woods lost several sponsorships, including Gatorade (Golfweek estimated the five-year deal was worth $100 million), AT&T, Gillette (which was estimated at $10-20 million), TAG Heuer and Accenture. After such controversy, it would seem any athlete's career would be completely irreparable. But not Tiger's.
Despite losing those major endorsements in 2009, Tiger is currently ranked No. 3 on the Sports Illustrated’s 2012 “Fortunate 50” list pulling in just over $56.4 million in endorsements, winning and appearance fees, behind undefeated American professional boxer, Floyd “Money” Mayweather and fellow PGA tour golfer Phil Mickelson.
So how did Tiger become one of the main faces in golf yet again?
“Tiger Woods is a [great golfer], he is a very likable guy,” said Mark McGuire, a Hooters Tour professional golfer. “He has a competitiveness to him that puts him in positions to win event after event, fans love that.”
“Tiger Woods, the brand, has been able to continue to spark intense following and dedication,” wrote Kenneth Wisnefski, branding expert and founder of Webimax. “Fans are still closely tied in to his brand due in large part to the energy and emotional attachment to his return to success.”
Tiger's road to the Masters has been slightly different this year. He recently stepped back into the spotlight, appearing in several ads including Wieden +Kennedy’s Nike Spot “No Cup Is Safe” alongside 23-year-old golf sensation Rory McIlory. Tiger made a cameo appearance in KBS+P Nike SB Eric Koston 2 ad. And most recently, Tiger appeared as a superhero alongside the legendary Arnold Palmer in the latest EA Sports' new Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 spot.