AT&T cuts ties with Tiger Woods
The list of corporate sponsors who have abandoned Tiger Woods grew a little longer Thursday as AT&T announced it has ended its agreement with the golfer.
The telecommunications giant issued a brief statement, saying "[we] wish him well in the future.”
Woods had carried the AT&T logo on his bag and had acted as the official host of the AT&T National PGA Tour event. His image and name still appeared on the tournament’s website Thursday.
“AT&T is continuing its sponsorship of the AT&T National and we are looking forward to a successful tournament at Aronimink Golf Club next year,” PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said in a statement.
Woods, who is taking a leave from professional golf, will not be the host of the 2010 AT&T National, Votaw said.
Woods has been the focus of a media storm since an early-morning car accident in November and subsequent reports from numerous women claiming to have had sexual liaisons with him.
Communicating only through his website, he has apologized for his “transgressions” and announced that he is taking an “indefinite” leave from the tour.
The fallout has significantly damaged his status as a sports celebrity who earns an estimated $110 million annually in endorsements, according to Forbes magazine.
AT&T had previously said it was re-evaluating its relationship with him, but now joins Accenture, a global consulting firm, in cutting ties entirely.
Others, such as Gillette and Tag Heuer, have backed off on using advertisements that feature Woods.
Golf Digest has suspended his monthly instructional articles and Gatorade carried through with an earlier decision to discontinue his signature sports drink.