Gatorade Drops Tiger Woods

Gatorade today became the latest company to end its sponsorship deal with troubled golf icon Tiger Woods.

Gatorade, a unit of PepsiCo, had already pulled its Tiger Woods-branded sports drink in November, and at the time said it had made the decision to do so before the athlete’s Nov. 27, 2009 car accident and extramarital affairs became global headline news.

The value of Woods’ deal with Gatorade, inked in 2007, was not disclosed, though some sources have estimated its value in the $100 million range over the course of five years.

So far, Accenture and AT&T have dropped Woods entirely. Others, such as P&G’s Gillette and Tag Heuer, have pulled ads featuring the golfer, but have to some extent left the door open to future dealings with Woods.

Nike has been his staunchest supporter.

Woods on Feb. 19 issued a much-hyped televised public apology for his actions, but it had no immediate impact on public opinion.

Just this week, a plurality of respondents to a Rasmussen Reports poll said they believed Woods’ public apology last week was sincere. Unfortunately, a majority still had an unfavorable opinion of him.

Forty-one percent said they thought Woods’s apology was “sincere,” while 28 percent thought it wasn’t and the rest weren’t sure. Meanwhile, 12 percent said they had a “very favorable” impression of him, with another 24 percent having a “somewhat favorable” view. Thirty-two percent had a “somewhat unfavorable” and 19 percent a “very unfavorable” impression. Rasmussen noted that Woods’ favorable total is unchanged since mid-December, while his unfavorable total has risen slightly.