In a blog on EASports.com, President Peter Moore announced that Tiger Woods would remain the face of its videogame golf franchise, ending a month of speculation.
Moore explained the company’s reasoning:
By his own admission, he’s made some mistakes off the course. But regardless of what’s happening in his personal life, and regardless of his decision to take a personal leave from the sport, Tiger Woods is still one of the greatest athletes in history.
Of course the fact that Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online is nearing release may have played some part in EA’s decision. Removing him from the nearly completed game, never mind extracting itself from a contract with Woods, would no doubt have proven a formidable task.
EA’s decision to stay with Tiger comes in light of AT&T, Accenture Plc and Procter & Gamble (Gillette) all dropping the libido-laden golfer, while Nike, Upper Deck and now EA, have kept Tiger on board.
A Business Week opinion piece says it’s time for Tiger’s sponsors to forgive and forget:
When corporations attempt to set themselves up as moral arbiters, they just end up making themselves look out of touch.
The author argues that in standing by a spokesperson who is going through tough times, “sponsors would emerge with more respect,” adding:
… sponsors have misunderstood why they wanted celebrity endorsements in the first place. They need authenticity, not bland corporate perfection. If corporations aren’t willing to accept that their “ambassadors” are real people, with all the flaws and fallibilities that come with that package, there is no point in having them on the payroll.