The golfer announced last week that he is to take an indefinite break from the sport after a public admission of “transgressions” in his private life and a slew of lurid stories about extra marital affairs.
Woods has been the sport’s biggest draw and his absence from major tournaments and from television could lead to a drop in spectators and viewing figures, according to experts.
US advertising agency Horizon Media says television advertising revenue could fall by as much as 40% in the golfer’s absence. Sportswear brand Nike, which makes Woods branded golfwear, could lose more than $30m (£18.5m) in sales, according to Claire Gallacher, an analyst with Capstone Investments.
Controversies, such as the one surrounding Woods, could also lead to insurers introducing products to limit the financial damage to brands caused by the indiscretions of their brand ambassadors.
According to a report in The Financial Times, US insurance broker DeWitt Stern has received interest from underwriters in backing a “reputational risk” product.
The fallout from the revelations about Woods’ private life has led to him being dumped by consultancy firm Accenture http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/accenture-dumps-woods-while-gillette-cools/3007839.article as well as shaving brand Gillette “limiting” his role in campaigns. Pepsi-owned soft drink Gatorade also recently announced that it would discontinue a drink endorsed by the golfer.
Despite Woods’ off-course difficulties, the golfer’s reputation among the sport’s experts has not diminished. The golfer has been voted Athlete of the Decade by US sports editors.