AT&T is latest to end Tiger Woods sponsorship

Dec 31, 2009 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
In this July 4,2007, file photo, Tiger Woods tees off on the first tee during the AT&T Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. AT&T Inc. said Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, it would no longer sponsor Tiger Woods, joining Accenture in dropping support for the world's top golfer, who's taking a break from the sport to focus on his marriage after his admitted infidelity. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. said Thursday it would no longer sponsor Tiger Woods, joining Accenture in dropping support for the world's top golfer, who's taking a break from the sport to focus on his marriage after his admitted infidelity.

The phone company hasn't used Woods' image extensively in advertising, but its logo appeared on his golf bag. That deal had been billed as a "multiyear" agreement when it was signed early in 2009, after Buick ended its endorsement one year early because of its financial woes.

Woods has also been the host of the AT&T National PGA Tour event since it started in 2007. Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said that since Woods is on indefinite leave from professional golf, he will not serve as host for the 2010 event. However, his Foundation will continue to be the beneficiary of the AT&T National, under a contract that runs through 2014, Votaw said.

AT&T said it would continue to sponsor the event.

Woods won the 2009 AT&T National in July at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. The AT&T National is moving to Aronimink Country Club outside Philadelphia the next two years as Congressional prepares to host the 2011 U.S. Open.

AT&T has also been the presenting sponsor of the annual Tiger Jam concert event in Las Vegas, but that contract has expired, according to AT&T spokesman Michael Coe.

AT&T, which is based in Dallas, did not comment on its reasons for dropping Woods, or how much the relationship was worth.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, had no comment on AT&T's decision.

Woods' image has taken a beating since a Thanksgiving holiday car accident at the golfer's Florida home was followed by an admission of extramarital "transgressions." Most of Woods' $100 million in annual earnings has come not from tournament winnings but from companies that wanted to be associated with his persona.

Consulting firm Accenture dropped the athlete two weeks ago, saying he was "no longer the right representative" of the company's values.

Gillette, a unit of the Procter & Gamble Co., also has said it won't air ads for its razors that include Woods or include him in public appearances.

Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, a unit of luxury goods empire LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, also said that it would "downscale" its use of golfer Tiger Woods' image in its advertising campaigns for the foreseeable future.

Electronic Arts Inc., which puts out the "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" series of golf video games, has not said what its plans are for the franchise. The company did not immediately return requests for comment Thursday. Nike Inc. and PepsiCo Inc.'s Gatorade are other big sponsors that haven't severed their ties.

Meanwhile, the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed on Thursday that troopers met with Woods on Dec. 1, four days after the accident outside his home, to deliver a $164 citation for careless driving. The meeting was earlier reported by WESH-TV in Orlando, Fla.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, FHP captain Mark Welch said Woods was "polite" and "only said, 'Yes Sir.'"

"The only injury that troopers observed was a bump and cut on his lip, which was consistent with the crash investigation," Welch said.

Explore further: Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tiger Woods Scandal Cost Shareholders up to $12 Billion

Dec 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Shareholders of Nike, Gatorade and other Tiger Woods sponsors lost a collective $5 to $12 billion in the wake of the scandal involving his extramarital affairs, according to a new study by researchers at ...

Woods scandal a boon to Internet publications

Dec 10, 2009

(AP) -- The Tiger Woods sex scandal has been a boon for online publications, even though it hasn't generated the same amount of Internet traffic as Michael Jackson's death or President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Taiwan says no to Tiger Woods-style animated news

Dec 11, 2009

(AP) -- Taiwanese regulators have turned down an application for a television license from a Hong Kong company whose local affiliate conquered the Internet earlier this month with a fanciful video of golf ...

Recommended for you

Chinese tech giant Alibaba set to make a splash with US IPO

8 hours ago

The largest tech IPO of the year will come from a company that many Americans have never heard of. Alibaba Group - a Chinese e-commerce behemoth - has decided to go public in the U.S. after months of speculation that it would ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Apr 19, 2014

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Apr 19, 2014

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.