PGA Tour

Nike's Tiger ad draws critics

2013-03-26 22:06
Tiger Woods (AFP)
New York - Maybe winning doesn't take care of everything.

Nike is causing a social media storm with its latest online ad showing a picture of Tiger Woods overlaid with a quote from him, "Winning takes care of everything."

The ad, posted on Facebook and Twitter, is supposed to allude to the fact that the golfer recovered from career stumbles to regain his world No 1 ranking on Monday, which he lost in October 2010. But some say it's inappropriate in light of Woods's past marital woes. It's the latest controversy from the athletic giants who have recently had to cut ties with biker Lance Armstrong and runner Oscar Pistorius due to separate scandals.

Woods has long used the phrase - at least since 2009 - whenever reporters ask him about his or other golfers' rankings.

The ad has garnered more than 8 000 likes and 2 000 shares on Facebook, as well as hundreds of comments, many congratulating Woods on the ranking, but others commenting that the ad sends the wrong message out in light of Woods's past problems. His five-year marriage to Elin Nordegren collapsed in 2010 after multiple affairs came to light.

Others responded on Twitter. Annie Kessler, 25, in Columbus, Ohio, tweeted that the ad was a "poor choice" for Nike. She said in an interview that she felt compelled to tweet because even though she understands why Nike would want to promote Woods, the phrase itself is inappropriate because of Woods's past infidelity.

Nike did not respond to a request for comment.

Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates in New York, said the ad signals that Nike believes it is time Woods - who in addition to his new No 1 ranking is now in a much-touted relationship with Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn - is back in the spotlight.

"They're looking at this and saying, 'Time has passed, he's winning again, it's time to turn up the volume on our association,' " he said. "But it's risky when you associate with a celebrity only based on winning or losing. Consumers care about how you play the game: both the actual game and the game of life."

Marketing consultant Laura Ries was more positive on the move.

"The reality is what he said is true," Ries said. "Whether or not they should have said it in an ad is another story."

The ad comes after Nike had to sever ties with two other high-profile athletes. They dropped Armstrong in October, before Armstrong himself came clean in January, citing insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade. And in February they suspended their contract with Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee runner from South Africa charged with premeditated murder in the Valentine's Day killing of his girlfriend.

Nike never cut ties with Woods when his scandal broke in 2010, and even tried to help resuscitate his image with a black-and-white ad four months later featuring a voice-over by his late father.



Tiger Woods

 

Read more on:    pga tour  |  tiger woods  |  golf
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
47 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.