Update: Tiger breaks his silence – is he right in what he says?
Until now, Tiger Woods, the world’s number one golfer, highest paid sportsman and global icon, has built himself a wholesome, clean-living reputation.
His brand, the success of which is the result of his apparent honesty and integrity, has earned him a massive income from sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike, Gatorade and Gillette.
But unlike the bad boys of sport, whose antics are a regular fixture in the pages of the Sunday tabloids, the actions of a clean cut sporting hero seemingly brought low have far more mileage for the media.
With the recent car-to-hydrant incident, the world is becoming incredibly suspicious and wants answers. Perhaps a little unfair, and some may think his private life should be respected, but there’s a price to pay for being the world’s biggest sportsman.
What’s more, the entire situation has become almost embarrassing with not a trace of crisis management about it.
He appears, to his detriment, to be saying nothing, no explanation whatsoever, despite the rumours of an affair with a New York showclub hostess and his Swedish model wife who allegedly rescued him from his Cadillac SUV by smashing a window with a golf club.
Not only that but the opportunity to clear the air once and for all was laid on a plate at his very own golf tournament in California this week which he declined to attend, with no real explanation.
Tiger needs to be very wary, the Gillette curse is taking its hold. First Thierry Henry handballs in a World Cup play-off, Roger Federer crashes out of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Tiger’s 2am dalliance with a fire hydrant remains a mystery.
US celebrity PR crisis expert, Gene Grabowski, recommends that those who find themselves in the eye of a media storm should take a leaf out of talk show host, David Letterman’s book and come clean early in a supposed scandal and take control of the information flow.
As the American’s would say; “Tiger, take a Mulligan.”