General Motors today announced that it will terminate its endorsement deal with Tiger Woods in late December, ending the pro golfer's nine-year stint with the automaker.
GM issued a statement saying both GM and Woods "agreed to a mutual and amicable separation that included a desire for more personal time for the [golfer] who is expecting his second child in late winter as well as the search for budget efficiencies during a difficult economy for GM."
Tiger Woods signed with GM nine years ago, but has been used sparingly by the automaker. Earlier this year, however, GM began featuring Woods front and center to boost sales of the Buick Enclave luxury crossover. TV spots featured Woods discussing what he likes about his Enclave.
Then in June, GM launched a promotion for Buick called "Tee Off with Tiger," where fans were asked to guess Woods' score on each hole he played through the fall, for a chance to win his services as a caddy at Torrey Pines golf course.
Just last week, a number of PGA Tour events told The Associated Press that Buick will no longer provide courtesy cars for players and staff at their tournaments, beginning in 2009. Buick is the official car of the PGA Tour and has supplied courtesy cars to numerous events for years.
"We're taking a hard look at everything right now," Larry Peck, golf marketing manager for Buick, told the AP.
He declined to discuss which tournaments lost courtesy car arrangements because the situation had not been finalized or announced.
"Most of those deals are regional offices, which are in a similar position with everyone else," Peck said. "There are budget cuts. Every line item where a dollar is spent is getting a lot of scrutiny. I can tell you it has not all been finalized. But some will be cut back. We have to look at things differently."