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.