Tiger Woods loses another sponsor, Gatorade
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Gatorade had quit making its Gatorade Tiger Focus sports drink last fall -- but that was before Tiger Woods’ personal reputation became tarnished after a Nov. 27 car accident triggered a series of revelations about marital infidelities that have resulted in Woods staying off the PGA Tour golf circuit so far this season and undergoing an undisclosed type of rehab.
On Friday, Gatorade said it was ending its sponsorship relationship with Woods. The announcement comes a week after the world’s top-ranked golfer surfaced briefly to give a televised apology.
In a statement issued by Gatorade spokeswoman Jennifer Schmit, the company announced, ‘We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship. However, our partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation will continue. We wish him all the best.’
This is the third sponsor to sever ties with Woods; Accenture and AT&T did so last year. Woods still has endorsement contracts with Nike, EA Sports, NetJets, Upper Deck and TLC Vision. The Tag Heuer watch company and Procter & Gamble’s Gillette razor products have stopped running ad campaigns featuring Woods but have not announced any contract terminations.
During his statement last week, Woods said he was returning to rehab and gave no hint as to when he would return to the PGA Tour.
-- Diane Pucin