Nike and Tiger Woods Lose Focus in the Name of Winning

The public loves tenacity. We understand that people go through difficult times, and many of those struggles are self-inflicted. But we love a good comeback story because we believe that tough times build character.

We all fall down, and most of us get back up again. It makes us better, more compassionate people. (This is why our Dad made us play soccer even though we had asthma.)

OK, so what’s up with the new Tiger Woods and Nike ad celebrating the golf legend’s recent return to “top dog” status in his sport? It shows Tiger measuring up a putt with the tagline “Winning Takes Care of Everything” over a Nike Swoosh and the word “Victory”. Is that the lesson Tiger learned from his sex-addicted meltdown and subsequent costly — on every level — divorce? Is that what Nike learned from former sponsor and fraud Lance Armstrong?

Nike will try to explain away the ad as an expression of Tiger’s competitive spirit, but the public isn’t falling for it. We’ve seen this type of arrogance before, and we’re tired of it. We didn’t care for the win-at-all costs attitude when it led to steroids in baseball, an economic collapse fueled by financial industry hubris and that stupid Seth MacFarlane movie Ted.

Today the public is cautiously optimistic. We like quiet confidence and hope. We like our WWII veteran grandfather’s stoicism and fortitude. Nike and Tiger should remember that, although we love to see a comeback kid make a turnaround, we still prefer humility to arrogance.

In short, the public doesn’t see itself in Tiger Woods. We identify more with his poor wife and kids.