Endorsements Golf Sports Business

Next to be Bagged

Guest contribution by loyal reader and current Q2 intern, Michael Goldman.

When Tiger Woods returns to the golf course in 2009 there will be a new logo adorning his bag, a coveted spot that Buick has held since 2000.  General Motors, the automobile company that owns Buick, recently announced the end of their 9-year endorsement deal with Woods as part of their cost-cutting strategy in the midst of the current economic crisis.  The deal, which has been cut short by a year, has been speculated to be worth at least $7 million a year.

Woods’ agent at IMG, Mark Steinberg, noted that the decision was mutual as Woods was seeking more personal time as he expects his second child.  The end of the Tiger-Buick era does mean that there is an open spot on what the New York Daily News called a “bag that gets more television time at tournaments than any other golfer.” Steinberg expressed that the bag would not be blank when Woods’ plays next.  With regards to the future status of his client’s accessory, the super-golf agent said “I’ve got a few ideas, and we’re in the process of working through that.”  In this time of economic hardships, who will take on the risk of giving away a huge endorsement deal?  To be sure, a new deal should be for less money as Woods expects to spend less time marketing his new endorser than he did for Buick, but will still most likely cost a new suitor several million dollars.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Next to be Bagged”

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steinberg hook Tiger up with an Asian auto maker. Here we have the premier athlete of Asian descent and another opportunity for a company like Toyota or Honda to gain more market share. Seems like a perfect fit and one that would bring Tiger the most money possible.

WHAT IF, a player like Tiger Woods who has more money than he will ever need, used his golf bag and public stature to help promote ideas that might affect people’s lives like, “Drink Responsibly”, “Exercise is Good” or he endorsed an educational initiative from our new President. I know this will never happen as economics drive the world’s business but what if people in positions of power, like Tiger Woods, took a more active stance on getting our country back on track. Imagine the statement it would make if Tiger Woods decided to do something so extraordinary like using his golf bag as a message to the American public for something other than marketing a product. If his bag is viewed by more people than any other player in the world (and I am sure that it is) wouldn’t this he seen by other companies as THE player to be associated and drive his price up in other areas hence potentially not cost him any money in the long run anyway? Extraordinary times call for extraordinary people and I ask… WHAT IF???

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