When news broke Monday that Nike was set to sign re-sign Tiger Woods to another lucrative contact, I could not help but shake my head a little. While I recognize that a few years have passed since the revelation of the elite golfer’s serial cheating surfaced and that Woods has remained a serious marketing force, I could not help but be dismayed at the message that such a deal sends.
According to agent Mark Steinberg, the new contract will “emphatically” keep Woods as golf’s highest paid endorser.
While the move is to be expected, it is saddening to think that young athletes everywhere were essentially told by the most recognizable sports brand that “as long as you are good at what you do, character does not matter.”
Yes, Woods’ “indiscretions” were revealed in 2010, and, supposedly, those are behind him. Nevertheless, the notion that the most infamous series of immoral acts by a major sports figure can be forgotten in such a short period of time is disheartening.
The serial cheating that Woods, a father, committed against his wife cost him the endorsements of Gatorade, Gillette, Accenture, and AT&T. Yet, Nike has kept Woods on throughout this whole process, now rewarding him handsomely.
Woods, who has added a whole new meeting to Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan, is living proof that we live in a culture that refuses to embrace the now antiquated notion that actions have consequences.
And, unfortunately, that may be a lesson that will be quickly learned by youth and adults alike all around the globe.