Business of Sports

Tiger Woods' Other Victims


1. Tiger's Collateral Damage: Who Else Will Be Hurt? As the Tiger Woods scandal continues to unfold, sponsors are reevaluating their relationship with the golf superstar. Accenture (ACN) announced on Sunday that Woods is "no longer the right representative" for them; Gillette suspended Woods' involvement in ad campaigns; Gatorade discontinued its line of Tiger Focus energy drinks; and Tag Heuer removed placards of Woods from stores across Australia. A clearer indicator of how far Tiger has fallen: He hasn't appeared in a prime-time TV commercial since Nov. 29, two days after his car accident. After Tiger and his sponsors, here are others who will be hurt in a classic case of guilt by Woods association: 1) Steve Williams. How much is 10% of indefinite hiatus worth to Woods' longtime caddy? True, Woods has made Williams, who has been on his bag a decade this year, a wealthy man; the racing fanatic even purchased a track of his own in his native New Zealand. Still, Williams' insistence that he knew nothing about Woods' extracurricular activities doesn't ring true. 2) Mark Steinberg. The head of IMG Global Golf is likely thinking that Bernie Madoff's lawyer has a better job than he does right now. Two years ago, when interviewed by a college student for a sports agent blog, Steinberg answered "honesty and integrity" when asked what the most important aspects of being a sports agent are. "Athletes in general sometimes feel that people are out there to take advantage of them, since [the athletes] are high-profile people who are making a lot of money." Steinberg said. "Athletes are very wary about who is a part of their inner circle. What I've learned in the past 15 years is to be honest and tell the truth. What I mean by that is not just to be a yes man or a yes woman, but to tell the truth, speak your opinion, and be a straight shooter. You need to be fair and not take advantage of your clients." Too bad Woods doesn't feel the same way about him. 3) Hank Haney. Good thing Haney, Woods' primary golf coach, has Ray Romano in the wings to lighten things up at Haney Ranch down in Texas. 4) Mark O'Meara. Woods' supposed best friend on the Tour will need a new practice partner. 5) Peyton Manning. America's other squeaky clean pitchman is likely looking deep into his closet (and cell phone contact list), wondering if privacy is a past-tense modifier for him as well. In addition, all marketing execs holding big-time athlete/celebrity contracts will be reevaluating them, looking to make the contracts smaller, shorter, and easier to terminate. 6) Cheyenne Woods. Tiger's niece, a Wake Forest student athlete and 2007 Arizona High School Golfer of the Year, made her LPGA debut in June of this year. The daughter of Earl Woods, Jr., she may be looking to change her name, or at least prove that Tiger Woods' behavior isn't a bloodline thing. 7) Stanford Golf. Did his days at the Farm mark the beginnings of Woods' philandering ways and student athlete perks? Will his name be removed from the private course on the campus he funded? 8) Jupiter Island. The exclusive enclave can kiss anticipated private donations for public tot lots goodbye. And with Greg Norman primarily hiding out Down Under after his separation from Chris Evert, the island's now a ghost town. 9) Dozens of cities. San Diego and its likely-to-remain-unnamed former Buick Invitational tournament tops the list of 2010 local economic impact projections gone awry. Close behind are Tucson, Miami, Akron, and Shanghai—in case Woods decides to boycott all the World Golf Championship events after Accenture dumped him. 10) Millions of kids. Not just the beneficiaries of the Tiger Woods Foundation, but also scores of junior fans, having witnessed their hero plunge off his pedestal, are quietly putting away their TW caps and autograph books and Googling Ryo, Anthony, and Rory. 2. Will Danica Deliver? Close behind Tiger Woods in grabbing headlines right now is racing sensation Danica Patrick—but for reasons far more positive. Last week, Patrick agreed to a two-year deal with JR Motorsports (JRM) to drive a partial Nascar Nationwide Series schedule next season in addition to her IndyCar career, a move widely anticipated to be a boon for her and Nascar alike. Patrick has long been "intrigued," as she puts it, by learning to drive heavy stock cars in addition to the lighter open-wheel cars on which she has cut her teeth and emerged victorious in one IndyCar race last year. For Nascar, Patrick's ability to win is almost secondary to her ability to move tickets and merchandise, boost ratings in a period when the sport's popularity has slid, and introduce the sport to Patrick's legions of fans around the world. For one thing, Patrick will surely help struggling JRM land sponsors, including GoDaddy on the No. 7 Chevy she will drive for the team. (GoDaddy has also confirmed that Patrick will be featured in two new Super Bowl commercials, shown the day after her race debut at Daytona.) As a strong indicator of her consumer appeal and attractiveness to marketers, Patrick's score on the Davie Brown Index places her third among current Nascar drivers, behind Jeff Gordon and JRM co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. but well ahead of four-time defending Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson. At Daytona, Patrick will make her Nascar debut in the ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Feb. 6 to qualify for the Nationwide Series opener there on Feb. 13. Patrick has not stated the exact number of Nationwide races she will run, but motor sports sources guess that it will be around a dozen, mostly bookended around the mid-March to early October IndyCar season. "IndyCar," says Patrick, "is [still] the primary focus." 3. NFL Lawyers Up Before CBA Talks Even though we haven't even reached the playoff stage of the 2009 NFL season, legal wrangling before an uncapped 2010 season is intensifying. The NFLPA has just filed a "special master case against the NFL" after the league informed the union it planned to end its supplemental revenue-sharing plan in the 2010 season, presumed to play out without a salary cap. The NFL contends that the supplemental revenue-sharing system, in which high-revenue clubs share more than $100 million with lower-revenue clubs, would not apply to an uncapped season. The situation, of course, would drastically affect the amount of money the NFL's revenue barrel-scraping teams will be able to spend on personnel, endangering their ability to compete. (The NFL currently shares more than $6 billion in revenue, mostly because of its lucrative TV contracts.) But Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior vice-president for public relations, said, "The CBA [collective bargaining agreement] has special rules to protect competitive balance in the uncapped year. There will still be billions in equally shared revenue in 2010." Aiello added that the NFL is "simply going forward on the terms the union approved" in March 2006, when a supplemental revenue-sharing plan was first agreed upon.The union contends that under the terms of that agreement, which expires in March 2011, bottom teams are entitled to revenue-sharing every year of the agreement, uncapped season or no. 4. Bowl Swag and Other Gridiron Bounty It's finals week for most college football bowl participants. It's also goodie-bag time. Over the next couple of weeks, many bowl committees will set up Hollywood-like "gift suites" to allow players, coaches, and staff the opportunity to select their bowl-game memorabilia. Under NCAA rules, each bowl can award up to $500 worth of gifts to 125 representatives per school, and each school is allowed to add up to $350 worth of booty from its own budget. All told, bowl season gift packages are worth more than $12 million in direct spending, according to SportsBusiness Journal, when including "packages that the bowl committees and schools order for distribution to their sponsors, media partners, and alumni." The Allstate Sugar Bowl's gift suite will feature Apple (AAPL) iPods, Sony (SNE) electronics, Garmin GPS systems, Trek mountain bikes, Lane recliners, and Weber grills. The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl is opting for Cisco (CSCO) FlipCams and Oakley sunglasses and backpacks. All-Sony gift suites, Tourneau and Fossil watches, New Era hats, and Best Buy (BBY) gift cards are also popular choices. Other WinnersBowl participants aren't the only football folks surrounded by riches. The six automatic-qualifier BCS conferences receive $17.8 million each. If they produce a second BCS bowl team, they get an additional $4.5 million. Last year the five "nonautomatic qualifier" conferences also split $19.3 million. According to data filed as part of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, the University of Texas' football program is by far the highest-revenue generator of all time, earning $87.6 million in 2008. The total represents a 20% increase from 2007—thanks mostly to increased suite and premium seating—and is $20 million more than second-place Ohio State. On the verge of leading his team to Pasadena to play for the BCS National Championship, Texas Longhorns coach Mack Brown received a hefty pay raise. The University of Texas Board of Regents voted to give Brown a $2 million annual salary increase, making him the first coach in any collegiate sport to earn $5 million a year. (From here on out, he'll be known as Mack Daddy Brown … and perhaps join Danica on the GoDaddy dias?)
Rick_horrow
Rick Horrow is a leading expert in the business of sports. As chief executive officer of Horrow Sports Ventures, he has been the architect of 103 deals worth more than $13 billion in sports and urban infrastructure projects. He is also the sports business analyst for CNN, Fox Sports, and the Fox Business Channel. Karla Swatek is vice-president of Horrow Sports Ventures and co-author of Beyond the Box Score: An Insider's Guide to the $750 Billion Business of Sports (2010). Horrow is also the host of Sportfolio, a new program on Bloomberg TV that airs Wednesday nights at 9 pm ET.

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