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Who is happy that Tiger Woods is back?

Posted by ZA on February 25, 2009

What does Tiger Woods return mean to golf? Everything, because right now Tiger Woods is the face of golf.  While he was injured television ratings declined, tournament attendance was down and sales of golf merchandise slumped.  Now that Superman is back, all is right in the world of golf.

So who stands to benefit most from Tiger’s return?  There is a long line, but let’s take a look at who is the happiest this week that Mr. Woods will be teeing it up again.

* Tim Finchem – The PGA Tour Commissioner said “There is nobody that’s more pleased than me.”  Finchem went on to say that the tour performs “pretty good” without Woods, but is “great” when Tiger is playing.

* Nike – Retail golf sales have been in a slump, but there’s nothing like getting the top endorser on the planet back from injury.  Expect to see Nike Golf get a little bump that misses the rest of the industry.

* TV – The Golf Channel, NBC and even ESPN who has rights to 2009 The Masters will all benefit from Mr. Woods return.  TV ratings for golf tournaments have been slumping since last June when Woods was injured, so any news is good news for golf broadcasters.

* Accenture – One of Woods sponsors is the title sponsor for the tournament where he starts his comeback from knee surgery.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I predict a lot of people will be flipping on the television this weekend to see how Tiger is faring.

* Golf fans – A tournament without Tiger isn’t really a tournament.

Nike is so excited that Tiger is back that they have created a commercial to celebrate the event.  Below is the Nike “The Good Life” commercial that will air on the Golf Channel and ESPN networks.  The spot features Nike sponsored golfers Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink & Trevor Immelman enjoying life on the PGA Tour without Tiger Woods.


Nike Golf’s “The Good Life” commercial

About these ads

2 Responses to “Who is happy that Tiger Woods is back?”

  1. rossbidd said

    Your blog says ‘a golf tournament is not a golf tournament without Tiger’ – I think that’s a sad point of view because no sport is bigger than one individual. Tiger can play amazing golf and does so more often than anyone in the world, but he is NOT all of golf. I don’t think even he would appreciate such a comment. To take the Tiger-is-all stance belittles every other golfer and gives power to the fashion-fans of golf who with us when Tiger’s light burns, but who will leave when he does. I’ll watch ALL golf, thanks very much – with Tiger and without him.

    • ZA said

      Ross-
      I understand your point of view, but still believe that Tiger is essential to golf right now. To be the best, you have to beat the best. Tiger was clearly the top player in the game when he left with his knee injury last year. I think that even the top golfers on the PGA Tour would admit that winning a tournament that Tiger doesn’t play in doesn’t have quite the same impact.

      The situation is similar to the two years that Michael Jordan quit basketball to pursue a career in baseball. The Houston Rockets won back-to-back titles during MJ’s absence, while the Chicago Bulls won the 3 prior and the 3 after. So to this day many people say the Rockets probably would not have won those titles if Jordan is playing for those two years. You could never prove it one way or the other, but it is something I have to consider.

      Same thing with Tiger. Since 1996 Tiger has played in 222 PGA Tour events. He has won 65 of those events. Even more astounding is the fact that Tiger has won 51% of the PGA tournaments he’s played in the last 3 years (37 starts, 19 wins). He has dominated the sport. Because of that domination, I think any tournament without Tiger cannot be viewed the same as those Woods plays in. To be the best, you have to beat the best.

      ZA

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