It’s no secret that Tiger Woods is the biggest draw in golf. When he tees off, viewers tune in for the fist pump, scowl, and stroll we’ve become accustomed to for nearly two decades. Though he’s still a ratings goldmine for the sport, it remains to be seen if Woods can recapture the love and affection that the golf community once showered on him prior to his 2009 Thanksgiving fiasco. Endorsements with Accenture, AT&T, EA Sports, and Gatorade have vanished, and new deals have not emerged quickly. Can this be fixed? Can Tiger be rebranded?
1. Win a Another a Major
Woods’ last major championship took place six years ago at the 2008 U.S. Open. At the time, he was 32 and it was a forgone conclusion that Tiger would likely tie the Golden Bear for most majors ever won. Today, sentiments have shifted and some wonder if the now 38-year-old Woods will ever win a major again. Observers cite what happened to Arnold Palmer as evidence since the King won his last major title at 34 years of age. But what if Woods can channel his inner Ben Hogan (Hogan won five majors after turning 38-years-old) and win another major? His fifteenth major would be appreciated more than other titles because of the amount of time it took him to accomplish the feat. His perseverance could be seen as an injection of new enthusiasm to rebrand Tiger.
2. Participate in the 2016 Olympics
Golf returns to the 2016 Olympics for the first since 1904 and will feature individual events. 60 players will compete in a 72-hole stroke play format competition for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Only four golfers can represent the U.S. and must be ranked in the top 15. What better way for Tiger to add prestige back to his brand than by representing his country in front of an international audience. More than 219.4 million Americans tuned in during the 2012 Olympics, making it the most-watched event ever in U.S. TV history. Success in Rio at the 2016 games could help Tiger rebuild his endorsement deals. A gold medal might lend its hand to some opportunities with Wheaties.
3. Become a FootGolf Advocate
Perhaps Woods can take advantage of the current soccer golf craze and promote a new product line in the sport of FootGolf. With Tiger as the lead spokesperson for FootGolf, it would show golf aficionados that Tiger cares about the sport so much that he is taking a leading role in attempting to grow it through other avenues. Perhaps Tiger could participate in a FootGolf tournament, which would be huge for his brand since it has the potential of introducing a new demographic to the game of golf.
While winning another major championship, competing in the 2016 Olympics, or becoming a FootGolf spokesman do not guarantee that Woods would become the golf public’s darling again, as he was in the early to mid-2000’s, these three options would add to his current persona and perhaps pave the way for the back nine of his career. Which of the three choices do you think could help rebrand Tiger the most? Chime in below.