Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Can Tiger re-brand himself?



Does Tiger Woods really need to worry about losing his sponsorship deals? More to the point, does a man who has already earned a billion dollars and who is still, without any doubt, the number one golfer in the world, really need to worry about restoring his “clean cut image”?

Tiger is supposedly in meltdown at the moment – he has had to announce an “indeterminate break” from golf amid the stream of revelations about his private life. Once the media frenzy to discover the latest “Vegas cocktail waitress” eased slightly, the focus shifted to how much the scandals have affected his marketability.

I have a sneaking feeling that amongst those paid to advise Tiger on his sponsorship deals the word “opportunity” will be being more frequently used than “meltdown”. Marketing people enjoy a challenge and the sudden change in the public perception of Woods will surely be seen by ambitious advisers as a chance to enter new markets.

Accenture, a consulting company not very well known outside of business circles, represents the traditional corporate golf client for Woods. With his image as a reliable, conservative but extremely wealthy and successful man now in tatters, he is going to struggle among clients for whom ‘trust’ and ‘consistency’ are premium qualities.

Woods takes first step on road to redemption


Slug is GOLF-CHAMPIONS/By Kevin Fylan and Tom Pilcher

Tiger Woods’s decision to take an indefinite break from golf will be a real worry for a sport that has relied on the drawing power of the world’s best player for so long but it might prove to be a necessary first step on the player’s own road to redemption.

“He’ll figure it out — we’ve always been a forgiving society,” major record holder Jack Nicklaus said before Woods announced his decision to take a break.

from MediaFile:

For Yahoo, Tiger scandal better than Michael Jackson

Celebrity deaths are big news. But nothing warms a media executive's heart more than a good celebrity sex scandal.

“God bless Tiger. This week we got a huge uplift.” Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz told a crowd of investors in New York on Tuesday at the UBS Media and Communications Conference.

Even Tiger gets the “loss aversion” blues


tiger1Even the best golfers — yes, you Tiger Woods – systematically miss the opportunity to score a “birdie” (when a golfer sinks a ball one stroke below par, or what is expected) out of fear of having a “bogey” (or taking one stroke more than par), according to a study by two University of Pennsylvania professors.

However, playing it safe has its own costs in golf and business, Devin Pope and Maurice Schweitzer, professors of economics and psychology at the Wharton School, said in their paper entitled “Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes.”

Best view of the Tiger? Join the People’s Liberation Army


PLA soldiers watch Tiger Woods of the U.S. as he plays on the green of the fourth hole during the final round of the 2009 HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai

The huge galleries following the final round match-up between Tiger Woods (“Laohu” to the locals) and Phil Mickelson at the WGC-HSBC Champions last Sunday made life uncomfortable for player and spectator alike on a humid day in Shanghai.

China’s wealthiest had paid up to 3,500 yuan ($513) for their tickets but the best view, on the fourth green at least, went to the soldiers in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) barracks on the other side of the canal which runs alongside the hole.

Presidents Cup offers great golf, but not much of a competition


rtxpjomIf the “group hug” that is the Presidents Cup ever hopes to be taken seriously as an important sporting competition it needs to develop a sharper edge.

The Presidents Cup lost more than a little bit of respect as a legitimate athletic event on Saturday when smiling International captain Greg Norman raced on to the green to embrace not one of his own men but American Steve Stricker, who had just drained a 26-foot birdie putt to put a stake through his team’s heart (click here for our report).

Should golf be back on the Olympic schedule?


Friday’s announcement in Copenhagen that golf would be added to the Olympic schedule from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro sparked joyous reaction from players past and present, along with a few dissenting voices.

World number one Tiger Woods declared it “a perfect fit” while fellow great Jack Nicklaus voiced his pride over golf’s united front on “a great day” for the sport.

Golf, rugby back in Olympics, Tiger set for Rio?


OLYMPICS/2016Get ready for a Tiger assault on Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The International Olympic Committee voted on Friday to accept golf — and rugby — back on to the Olympic programme, starting in Rio in seven years’ time.

Golf last featured at an Olympics in 1924. Ninety-two years on, the sight a lot of people will want to see is Tiger Woods attempting to crown his glorious careeer with an Olympic gold medal.

Has golf found the right end-of-season format at last?


tigerAfter two successive years of tweaking the points structure for the lucrative FedExCup playoff events, the PGA Tour’s blockbuster finale appears to be close to finding the ideal recipe.

When the season-long series was first launched in 2007, the points system was too rigid, leaving players with far too much ground to make up on the leaders going into the final stretch.

Feelin’ groovy about iron shots out of the rough


Mickelson of the U.S. hits from the rough on the 14th hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament in Bloomfield TownshipAs professional tournament golf edges closer to the year-end, several of the younger players can be forgiven for not exactly feeling groovy about their prospects out of the rough once the 2010 season gets underway.


Simon and Garfunkel preached a slower pace to life in their whimsical “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” in 1966 but those uplifting harmonies are unlikely to be of any help to many golfers who miss the fairways next year.