Tiger Silenced, Nike Tees Off

Nike released an advertisement with Tiger Woods that continues to receive a lot of hype. In the ad, Tiger’s late father speaks to him on current issues that erupted in the past couple of months.

Because many sponsors no longer want to be associated with Tiger, they dropped him from their advertisements; however, Nike is letting the public know it is staying with the golf pro. If this video is an apology from Tiger, is it too late?

As a PR student, we learn to address problems as soon as they arise, and this particular ad is coming out a little late and from the wrong people. There is no response from Tiger, and it can leave the viewer more confused than sympathetic. However, I don’t think this ad has much to do with Tiger. So, you might think to yourself: Why would Nike spend so much money not selling anything?

Well, I think I know where Nike was going with this one.

Nike’s message seems to be reprimanding Tiger through his father. No, Nike is not dropping Tiger from advertisements, but it is letting the public know it doesn’t agree with his previous actions.

This was wise PR in my opinion because, yes, Tiger is not very popular right now, but this scandal is sure to blow over sooner or later. The name Tiger Woods sold products in the past, and it is sure to sell products in the future as well.

By telling the public it will continue the sponsorship with Tiger, Nike can use him in upcoming ads and help rebuild his image as an athlete instead of a celebrity scandal. Nike is tackling the issue head-on, and instead of dropping him, it can use his persona for years to come when his personal life is no longer an issue. People forget Tiger Woods is a respected athlete, and fans will want what Tiger is wearing or using on the golf course.

Other brands don’t seem to realize that when things get tough you can’t just bail out. As a PR professional, one of the many jobs you will have is damage control. If a product were recalled, a company would be on top of it, making sure to send out press releases and commercials about how it plans to improve and to make things better. The same goes for the Nike ad; Nike told the public Tiger learned something, and he is back and ready for a new start.

By not bailing out on Tiger like other brands, Nike looks heroic for standing by someone they have sponsored for years. Why end a long relationship over something that is only tabloid-worthy?

Bravo to the PR pros at Nike. They know how to take a situation and deal with it.

By John Paul Bruno

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7 Comments

Filed under Leadership, The Industry

7 responses to “Tiger Silenced, Nike Tees Off

  1. jeremywaite

    I totally agree with you. Nike has taken a heroic stance. Their bravery in protecting their athletes and standing by them is one of the reasons why they remain the most relevant mainstream sports brand in the world. Great post.

  2. Sade Cade

    I think that Nike was very brave to use Tiger in their advertisement. People are not going to stop buying Nike products because they support Tiger Woods. People (celebrities) do worse things than infedility, so I feel it is never to late for Tiger to apologize. The public needs tolet it go and move on. He’s human, he is capable of mistakes. Although the mistake was done over and over again. I know I forgive him.

  3. Mollie Dunn

    I had not yet seen this ad, but I think it was the perfect way for Nike to handle Tiger’s situation. Though I think it would have been more beneficial for Nike to release this ad in a more timely fashion, the message is brilliant. Using Tiger’s father as the announcer was a great idea. Tiger Woods is an outstanding athlete that made mistakes; correction: BIG mistakes. He should have known better than to act so immorally when he is looked upon as a hero and role model, as many celebrities are. However, the public needs to get over what happened and move on. Some new scandal will eventually turn up and Tiger will be old news. Good job Nike!

  4. Lacey Ezekiel

    I do agree that as PR professionals we are taught to respond quickly and ethical to the problem at hand. I do not know the reason why Tiger Woods PR representative did not push a public apology sooner then now, but none the less he did produce a apology for his actions.
    The video in my eyes hits the heart of Tiger Woods personally. I know personally and through talking with others that when your mom or dad is not proud of the actions you took they will display their thoughts verbally and they tend to hit the mind and heart harder then any tabloid or criticism from the public can. This commercial is a daily reminder for Tiger when he views this ad in the media that his dad is speaking to him.The look on Tiger’s face has no expression because he knows his father is speaking to him not as a business man or PR professional, but as his own dad, flesh and blood, that knows him better then any of us could.
    Nike did a great job of not promoting anything but show the concern that a father has for a son not an athlete.Sometimes saying nothing at all is better then speaking and those words being misconstrued in the public eyes.

  5. I agree that this ad was a good way to handle all of the bad press that Tiger has been getting. It shows how he is human being and not just a celebrity. I think his father sounds very disappointed in the ad just like any parent would be if their son had done the same actions. However, Tiger is still a great athlete and I think by Nike keeping him as a sponsor people will start remembering him by his athletic abilities again and not just his infidelities.

  6. Brandon Gibson

    I think that Nike’s message in this ad is that they are being loyal to Tiger and not dropping him like his other endorements. Yes, he made a huge mistake that basically ruined his image but Nike and Tiger have so much to offer each other. Im sure over time Tiger will make everyone love him just as much as they did before his mistake became public. Its a business, he’s pretty much a billion dollar athlete that pushes Nike’s product. Also, I feel like he has done enough to make them a better brand and for them to drop him would be out of the question in my opinion. Endorsement companies beg and plead for athletes like Tiger Woods. Tiger has great PR people and they are paid good money to keep his public image positive.

  7. Pingback: Can LeBron Take the Heat? «

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