Tiger Woods as Pitchman Slips From View

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

Even as Tiger Woods remained hidden from public view on Tuesday in his home, or somewhere else, he has also begun to fade from view in his role as ubiquitous corporate pitchman for an array of products.

When last seen in public, Woods was lying on the pavement in front of his home near Orlando on Nov. 27, moments after driving over a fire hydrant and crashing his Cadillac Escalade into a neighbors tree. The last time his corporate persona appeared on television was two nights later when, according to Nielsen, he was in a 30-second spot for the Gillette Company.

Since then, Woods has had plenty of television face time, but not the type that he or any of his sponsors could have enjoyed. Amid a growing number of reports of alleged extramarital affairs, Gatorade announced on Tuesday that it was discontinuing its Tiger Woods Sports Drink.

Although the company said in a statement that its decision was made months ago and was unrelated to recent events, the timing of the announcement served to compound public perceptions of an erosion of sponsor support for the embattled Woods. More…