Tag Heuer decides to ‘stand with Tiger Woods’

Luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer has confirmed that it will not drop scandalous golf star Tiger Woods from its ad campaigns entirely. The Swiss company put up an image on their website stating that they “stand with Tiger Woods.” They mentioned in a brief press statement that they’ll cut back Tiger’s ads but won’t dump him entirely.

TAG Heuer confirms today that it will continue its relationship with Golf n°1 Tiger Woods but will respect his desire of privacy by modifying his role in the coming months’ marketing programs.

Tiger Woods became a TAG Heuer brand ambassador in 2002. The relationship between the leader in prestigious sports watches and chronographs since 1860 and Golf virtuoso Tiger Woods has always been extremely professional and productive.

“The partnership with Tiger Woods will continue,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, President and CEO of TAG Heuer, “but we will downscale the use of his image in certain markets for a period of time, depending on his decision about returning to professional golf. We will continue to actively support the Tiger Woods Foundation.”

[From TagHeuer.com via TMZ]

As TMZ points out, The CEO of Tag Heuer previously said that they probably wouldn’t work with Tiger. “We recognize Tiger Woods as a great sportsman but we have to take account of the sensitivity of some consumers in relation to recent events.” Compare this thoughtful statement to Nike’s chairman, who called the scandal a “minor blip” that “the media is making a big deal out of.”

I checked out prices for Tag Heuer watches, and the average price seems to be around $1,200, with prices as low as $600 and as high as $3,800. These are watches for people who can afford them, primarily rich older guys who won’t be quick to condemn Tiger for getting some on the side. Maybe some lawyers got involved and reminded Tag Heuer that there’s no morality clause in their contract.

Tiger Woods is really ubiquitous and I didn’t notice how much stuff he endorses until after the scandal hit. I was buying my son a Wii game for Christmas when I saw the unintentionally hilarious cover for the Tiger Woods PGA tour featuring Tiger making an “O” face. That game will probably remain on the shelves for a while and maker Electronic Arts has said “its business strategy with the golfer remain[s] unchanged.” Tiger has been dropped from campaigns with Gillette, and Accenture. Gatorade discontinued their Tiger Woods drink. AT&T is “evaluating its relationship” with him.

This huge scandal isn’t just affecting the mega-rich guy who made more in endorsements than any other sportsman in history. It could also help sink public and corporate interest in the sport of golf. There’s a great editorial in yesterday’s LA Times in which writer Dan Niel concludes that “the branding opportunities of professional golf have been utterly vacated by Tiger Woods’ philandering.” Young, attractive “good guy” Tiger heralded a new popularity for the sport and his massive embarrassing affairs could help sink it. Who will be the face of golf now?


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24 Responses to “Tag Heuer decides to ‘stand with Tiger Woods’”

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  1. Beth says:

    As far as I know only Assenture dropped him. Everybody else is scaling back Tiger’s ads. His image is taking a beating but when he comes back to the tour, especially if he wins, all will be forgotten. Other celebrities have done worse and the public forgave and forgot.

  2. luna says:

    Wow, a $600 watch that I couldn’t afford anyway. I guess I’ll boycott Tag Heuer? And Bentley. Yeah! I’m boycotting Rolls Royce! lol

  3. princess pea says:

    Well, the brand isn’t really about a wholesome family image… so of course they don’t need to drop him. Those are the ones I expect him to lose, but otherwise most of them won’t. He’s still making headlines, after all, and endorsements aren’t ever based on being a decent person. Scaling back the ads so they’re not too obvious is the smart move, and within 6 months they can all be in circulation again. We’ll have another celebrity to be angry at by then.

  4. Phowie says:

    In light of the recent scandal associated with Nike spokesman Tiger Woods, Nike has decided to change their slogan to ‘Just Do Me’.

  5. Green is Good says:

    @Phowie: Ha ha ha ha!!!

  6. Sumodo says:

    There’s a huge-mongous Tiger/Tag Heuer billboard in our downtown area. I bet it wouldn’t take a lot of coaxing to get a bunch of rowdy girlfriends of mine to paint-gun it. Tag Heuer devalues women!

  7. YT says:

    Tag Heuer is actually reaching markets it never reached before with all the publicity. I’ll bet their sales have increased.

  8. Relli says:

    Ugh i saw this Tag Heuer billboard when i was driving and it seriously made me cringe and throw up a little in my mouth.

  9. Feebee says:

    It would be one thing if Tag Hauer just said it was evaluating things but their relationship with Tiger hasn’t changed. I don’t even mind that their old ads stay up. But it’s another thing to produce a new ad stating you’re publicly supporting this guy in the face of detestable behaviour and ignoring the fact as much as Tiger saved golf he may be equally responsible for doing it damage it could take years to undo.

  10. BiggieShortie says:

    That was totally my theory, too: the dudes who CAN afford them are probably indulging on their “side dishes” as well. They got NO problem with little Cougar Pines and his extra-marital activities.

  11. hatsumomo says:

    I heard Tiger is pretty prolific with his advertising too. And prolly wont take a hit with all his deals. For instance, the ones who buy his video games and watches are the same ones who dont care who he’s banging. Hos or not, old men and kids buying the video games are just interested in the athlete. Not the affairs. Which is why his games are expected to be in high demand for X-mas.

  12. JIll says:

    I admit I’m not sick of this scandal and won’t be till the results are in. Those will show what kind of man he is beyond this shallow JFK-type behavior.
    I think companies need to drop his image from their ads for obvious reasons, but can’t imagine why they’d drop him altogether. He’s still a great sports figure.

  13. Kelly says:

    “evaluating its relationship”…

    Heh…love that euphemistic phrase.

    Translation: The second we lose sales, we will drop him quicker than he’s been dropping his Dri-Fit, flat-front khakis.

  14. diva says:

    I’m sure Tag Heur “took the temperature” of their male consumers and saw that the scandal had no effect on their buying decisions so they kept him on. Tag Heur and his other endorsements are all male products like Gillette and men are probably secretly wishing they were in Tigers shoes, this might actually increase sales.

  15. ogechi says:

    good news [am all smiles]

  16. lastwordlinda says:

    I agree that many men would secretly like to be in Tiger Wood’s shoes right now. Not everyone is going to be disgusted with his behavior. He’s not the only skanky, gross, lying, cheating bastard in the world. I’m sure sales will skyrocket for all the products he endorses as men fall for the advertising gimick that if someone famous uses it, it must be a great product.

  17. emma says:

    actuall, I used to have a tag hauer watch. it was way back in the day. I didn’t buy it myself (I was in middle school, so I couln’t afford one), it was a present. But now, I’ll never consider buying one unless they drop Tiger.

    As for Tiger and Gillette, I think Stephen Colbert said it best. After seeing all of Tiger’s skanks, Gillette really should drop him, cause it that really “the best a man can get?”

  18. Goddess711 says:

    I like the new Tiger Nike Ad “Just Did Her”.

    Ah well, wasn’t planning on buying Tag Hauer anything for anybody anyway. Hope it rebounds badly on the company!

  19. Crittle says:

    I doubt few endorsers actually care about his personal business. The ones that kept him will scale back for a while. And then as soon as he starts winning again, well…

  20. Sarah says:

    Seriously, why are ppl sticking with this guy? He made a fool out of everybody around him/connected to him including himself. Even if I had the money for a Tag Heuer watch, I wouldn’t buy it anymore now that I know they stand side to a big time cheater. To me, this is really bad marketing. It does harm more than it helps to have him on board.

  21. Pia says:

    Good for them. I don’t think their customers care at all about who Tiger boinks. I certainly don’t.

  22. Ophelia says:

    That header image of him from the game cover is really funny…

  23. Kaboom says:

    If Tiger stands for anything these days then it is highly efficient time management. Perfect for a watch maker.

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