Tiger Woods Damage Control Advice

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It is nearly impossible to avoid news about Tiger Woods, the professional golfer who is now at the center of a scandal involving alleged adulterous affairs he has had with several women. The top trending topic on Twitter, Google Trends, and elsewhere over the past week has been “Tiger Woods” fueled by some of the most sensational and perhaps twisted information we’ve seen in months.

College Marketing

Tiger WoodsIf you’re taking a marketing course at the moment or will be next semester, there are some valuable lessons to be learned. Companies constantly face a barrage of negative publicity – some of it is true and some of it isn’t. In this day of internet fueled rumors and misinformation, responding quickly is important, but responding correctly is essential. That makes for effective damage control.

Do I believe all of the reports about Tiger Woods? No, but I do believe he is in trouble with the court of public opinion which has been weighing in early and often. Most importantly is that Mr. Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, has been deeply hurt and is perhaps the most innocent victim as she has seen her marriage vows broken time and again. Worse, her grief is now a very public humiliation.

Taming Tiger

But this article isn’t about Tiger’s marriage, rather it is all about salvaging something out of the Tiger Woods name brand. I’m not a marriage counselor, but I do have a marketing background and can offer some advice to Woods:

Confess – Some people are arguing that Woods should remain silent. I think that is terrible advice. At some point he’ll have to confront and confess – the sooner, the better. He may not be able to salvage his marriage – that’s up to Elin and him, but he may be able to return to golf. Michael Vick is an excellent example of someone who realized the error of his way, repented, and has returned to sports.

Help – Mr. Woods clearly needs spiritual as well as psychological help. His alleged behavior suggests that he has an addictive personality and needs intervention. People are often sympathetic to the plight of addicts provided that they get help and overcome their problems. Nobody likes an unreformed addict.

Shake-up – Mark Steinberg is Mr. Woods agent and has been for the past twelve years. Steinberg and other close business associates must have known that something was going on. If Elin chooses to stay with Tiger, she’ll insist on finding out who knew and what they knew and will demand Woods’ handlers (enablers) be fired. William Congreve said, “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.”

Time – The saying, “time heals all wounds” isn’t quite accurate but time can diminish the luridness now dominating the news. Michael Vick had to be slammed by two courts – public and legal – before he could return to football. Tiger Woods will have to face his own challenges, something that will take months if not years to work through. By then, he’ll be older and wiser, but will he still be the best golfer in the world? Probably not.

Tiger Bash

Lest anyone think that I’m lining up to take shots at Mr. Woods, I’m not. Much of what is coming his way is deserved including whatever his wife says or does to him. Woods is a public figure, a brand, and he is losing millions of dollars in endorsements. But he is also someone who is deeply troubled and must understand that he needs help.

Damage control can only go so far, but it is something that must be implemented. Share these points with your college professor!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia public domain file

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