Well THAT Should Put Potential Tiger Woods Sponsors at Ease

Press Conference Portrayed as Stunt, Flip-off to Accenture (but Marketers Will Come Crawling Back, Anyway)

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Tiger Woods is having a press conference tomorrow. To apologize or explain himself or to try like hell to spin something positive out of the mess he's created for himself, for the PGA and for former sponsors. And it's not exactly going over well.

Firstly, other golfers are angry. Why? Not only is he putting the spotlight back on himself, he's doing so on a Friday (the third day) of a PGA event. Golfer Ernie Els told Golfweek, "It's selfish ... I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday. This takes a lot away from the golf tournament."

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods Credit: AP
Oh. The sponsor. Who's the sponsor of the PGA event? Accenture, the first marketer to drop Woods after the scandal broke. Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, told Golfweek that the move was in no way done to take away Accenture's spotlight and that the marketer was given fair warning and, indeed, was "supportive."

So how's that playing out in the media? Fox News called it "a clear slap at Accenture." ESPN calls the timing "peculiar at best." There are other examples of reality running up against perception.

Woods is also getting slammed for the controlled nature of the event: hand-picked reporters, friends and no questions allowed.

Then again, this is sports marketing we're talking about. And Tiger Woods. So despite all the moralizing going on about this, you can expect Woods to make a comeback and to do so with a full line-up of sponsors. You can bet on it.