So because Tiger Woods was pretty much its only endorser, Accenture essentially has to build a new communications platform from scratch -- after six years, a reported $7 million per year to Mr. Woods and, according to TNS Media Intelligence, more than $200 million in media costs to disseminate marketing messages primarily featuring him.
If only the $23 billion consulting giant could have brought in outside help to help it better manage the risks involved with putting its entire brand in, um, bed with a single celebrity. Surely there must be a "risk management" expert out there it could have hired.
Oh, wait: Accenture is a risk management expert.
From the company's website: "Our risk-management solutions help organizations protect and increase economic and shareholder value by transforming the risk management function from one that operates through a series of isolated transactions to one of strategic scope and importance."
Now, because we speak English and not consultant, we're not exactly sure what that means. But, in its marketing efforts, it appears Accenture succeeded in "transforming" the first-day-of-business-school (and common-sense) lesson of managing risks by diversifying assets into a reckless and very expensive campaign that was ultimately rendered moot by a single rich guy's inability to keep it in his pants.
Indeed, as the New York Times noted this morning in a story on "one-man brands," Mr. Woods was practically the company's entire marketing strategy. Accenture's only celebrity endorser, he was featured on virtually every piece of creative, in photos on the walls of most of its offices and even -- as the Wall Street Journal noted -- on internal documents like PowerPoint slides.
Oh, and ads such as this one, which seems sort of creepy now:
There are certainly reasons the world's greatest golfer would be appealing to a white-collar business-to-business marketer, which relished the sport's upscale demos. Mr. Woods was a star attraction at the PGA Tour event the company sponsored, where he would typically speak at an event for the company's clients.
So much for all of that.
An Accenture spokeswoman referred an inquiry to the company's Sunday statement that Mr. Woods was "no longer the right representative."