​Tiger Woods Return Masters Will Benefit Nike, Electronic Arts

Staff Reporter
Dec. 2, 2015

Tiger Woods return Masters has been the talk all this week. He’s ready to start his golf season and so are the fans. Moreover, Nike and Electronic Arts have stood by the professional golfer since the cheating scandal was first published in the tabloids.

“The Masters is where I won my first major, and I view this tournament with great respect,” Woods said. “After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta. The major championships have always been a special focus in my career and, as a professional, I think Augusta is where I need to be, even though it’s been a while, since I last played.”

Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Tournament, said the club not only supported Woods’ decision to make his return there, but “additionally, we support and encourage his stated commitment to continue the significant work required to rebuild his personal and professional life.”

The ratings for the televised golf tournament are expected to soar. The Masters could be the biggest television audience yet. The first two rounds are televised on ESPN, with CBS Sports on the weekend.

Reaction From Local and World Golfers

Most golfers do not approve of Tiger Woods and his extramarital affairs. However, they are glad to see his comeback. It was the game that Tiger mastered himself that built his career.

“I think it will be good for him to get back, and just do something he’s good at, and kind of get his mind off of everything else,” Jessica Benoit, Myrtle Beach golfer, said in a statement. “He’s done a lot for the game of golf, and he’s made little mistakes,” Johnny Pinel said.

Woods first addressed the public about his extramarital affairs in a statement last month. Now, Tiger is coming back to the sport by April. Most local golfers believe he’s coming back at the right time.

Golfers around the world all agree that the sport needs Tiger Woods. It’s been 144 days since Tiger’s played golf. That was at the Australian Masters tournament last November, and he won.

The Sponsors That Stood By The Athlete

The sponsors that stood by Tiger Woods and the marketers who were patient could reap the awards. Tiger will get them maximum exposure from the big tournament audience. Nike and Electronic Arts are two major sponsors that publicly announced that they would stay with Woods throughout his personal crises.

Woods dropped out of the golf world last fall after revelations of his infidelities made him a tabloid headline. Tiger’s value as a pitchman in shambles for major companies. Several of his sponsors, including accounting firm Accenture and telecommunications company AT&T, dropped him.

However, companies that banked more directly for his on-the-field athletic abilities include Nike and Electronic Arts. They stuck by him through the good and the bad. A major payoff for companies that stood by him could be coming.

“Instead of being tabloid fodder for his non-athletic activities, he goes back to what he started out to be, which was an athlete,” Rick Burton, former chief marketing officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee and a sports marketing professor at Syracuse University, said in a statement.

Both Nike and Electronic Arts said they look forward to golf tournament. It’s especially timely for EA, whose next edition of the video game “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” is scheduled for release in June. However, Gillete, a unit of Procter & Gamble, said it has no immediate plans to use Tiger Woods in its company advertising.

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