Accenture becomes first firm to cut ties with Tiger Woods
Global consulting firm Accenture Ltd. has ended its relationship with Tiger Woods, becoming the first major sponsor to cut ties altogether with the golfer since his alleged infidelities surfaced and he announced an indefinite leave from the sport to work on his marriage.
Accenture issued a news release today saying the golfer is “no longer the right representative” after the “circumstances of the last two weeks.” The move ends a six-year relationship during which the firm credited its “Go on, be a Tiger” campaign with boosting its image significantly. Accenture has used Woods to personify its claimed attributes of integrity and high performance.
“After careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising,” Accenture said, adding that “it wishes only the best for Tiger Woods and his family.”
An Accenture spokeswoman declined to comment further when contacted by the Associated Press.
Accenture has been title sponsor since 2001 of the Match Play Championship, a lucrative World Golf Championship event that draws the top 64 players from the world ranking. Accenture this year renewed its sponsorship of the tournament through 2014. The contract is separate from its business endorsement with Woods.
Other sponsors continue to stick with Woods for the time being.
Electronic Arts, whose EA Sports division has been selling Tiger Woods video golf games for a decade, said today, “We respect that this is a very difficult, and private, situation for Tiger and his family. At this time, the strategy for our Tiger Woods PGA Tour business remains unchanged.” The game's next edition featuring Woods comes out in six months.
AT&T said today that it continues to evaluate its relationship with the golfer. Watchmaker Tag Heuer did not return a call today, but its website continues to display photos of Woods. Nike Inc. said late Friday that it supports Woods' decision to take time off. Gatorade, a unit of PepsiCo Inc., said previously that it supports Woods.
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-- Houston Mitchell
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Photo: In this Feb. 20, 2008 file photo, Tiger Woods, left, and caddie Steve Williams celebrate Woods' win during the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship golf tournament. Credit: Matt York, AP.