Sucheta Dalal :Tiger Woods’ sponsors lose $5billion-$12 billion in just 13 days
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Tiger Woods’ sponsors lose $5billion-$12 billion in just 13 days  

December 29, 2009

Sponsors of golf superstar Tiger Woods have lost around $5 billion-$12 billion since reports of his extramarital affairs broke out, reports PTI.


According to a new survey conducted by the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) studied the stock market returns for the 13 trading days that fell between 27th November, the date of Mr Woods' car crash and 17th December, a week after the sports champion announced his indefinite hiatus from golf.


“Total shareholder losses may exceed several decades' worth of Tiger Woods' personal endorsement income," said professor Victor Stango, noting that these are separate and much larger than the golfer's own earnings, who before the scandal got about $100 million a year in endorsement income, more than any other athlete.


Two UC Davis economics professors, Victor Stango and Christopher Knittel, analysed eight of his sponsors —Accenture, AT&T, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf (Electronic Arts), Gillette (Proctor & Gamble), Nike, Gatorade (PepsiCo), TLC Laser Eye Centers and Golf Digest (Conde Nast).


"(This) pattern of losses is unlikely to stem from ordinary day-to-day variation in their stock prices," the researchers said, based on conclusions that the scandal reduced shareholder value in the sponsor companies by 2.3%, or about $12 billion.


The study also finds that three sports-related companies —PGA Tour Golf, Gatorade, and Nike—have been worst hit, experiencing a 4.3% drop in stock value, equivalent to about $6 billion.


"Our findings speak to a larger question of general interest in the business and academic communities: Does celebrity sponsorship have any impact on a firm's bottom line?" professor Stango said.


"Our analysis makes it clear that while having a celebrity of Tiger Woods' stature as an endorser has undeniable upside, the downside risk is substantial too," he added.


The scandal surfaced following an accident on 27th November when Mr Woods crashed his sports utility vehicle (SUV) outside his Florida mansion, sustaining minor injuries. His wife Elin Nordegren had to use a golf club to break the back window of the SUV to rescue him.


The accident may have occurred following a fight with Ms Nordegren accusing her husband of having an extramarital affair. Since then, ten women have claimed to have been involved with Mr Woods, out of which eight have been named.


Since the day of the accident, Mr Woods has not been seen in public and US tabloids are reporting that this may be due to cosmetic surgery to repair a broken tooth following a fight with his wife who allegedly chanced upon a text message from one of the women with whom he was having an affair.


The only contact the international golf legend has made with the public is to post an apology on his website and ask the media to leave him alone.

Aaron Rodrigues


-- Sucheta Dalal