Woods Fails To Make The Cut For Gatorade's Marketing Future

February 26, 2010: Gatorade celebrated the one-week anniversary of Tiger Woods' public apology by cutting ties with the beleaguered golfer, joining Accenture and AT&T as former sponsors no longer doing business with him.

The division of PepsiCo said it would end its marketing alliance with Woods but would continue to support the Tiger Woods Foundation. Analysts said Woods had a five-year deal estimated to be worth $20 million annually.

 "We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts," the performance drink company said in a statement. "However, our partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation will continue. We wish him all the best."

Gatorade has already been removed from Woods' list of marketing partners at the golfer's official Web site.

"We have been in discussions with Gatorade, and while we are disappointed Gatorade has decided to not continue with Tiger in their marketing plans, we appreciate their continued involvement with Tiger through his foundation," Woods' agent Mark Steinberg, told AP.

Woods earned about $100 million from endorsement deals in 2008, but saw ties cut with General Motors due to the automaker's economic situation. With the departure of Gatorade, Accenture and AT&T, Woods' earning potential from marketing in 2010 is down to about $50-60 million. Should he not return to the PGA Tour this season due to his self-imposed sabbatical, it could drop even farther.

Woods and Gatorade joined forces in October 2007 amid much fanfare. He was featured in numerous marketing campaigns and in the first year of the deal was given a signature line. However, Gatorade dropped TIger Focus last November, prior to Woods' accident and subsequent personal problems, claiming poor sales and also a need to make room for its new G Series line.

Gatorade had supported Woods during his time of crisis, even issuing a statement after his televised apology on Feb. 19. "We wish Tiger well as he works through these private matters."

Nike, Gillette, Tag Heuer and EA also offered post-apology statements of support. EA Sports has been the only one of Woods' marketing partners to activate behind a new product, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. Other marketing partners include Upper Deck, NetJets and TLC Laser Eye Centers.

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