Are Adidas Out of the Woods?

Adidas at footasylum
Adidas at footasylum
The Tiger Woods scandal has impacted on a number of endorsement deals, so are leading brand Adidas pulling out of their endorsement deal?

Sport endorsements are all about being associated with positive role models. And Tiger Woods has certainly upset Adidas’ multi-million pound endorsements that rely on his successful reputation. What’s more, some business analysts are saying the unreliability of Tiger Woods may make many big brands like Adidas and Nike think twice before offering multi-million pound deals with big sporting names. As Tiger Woods has shown, such support can quickly misfire.

Adidas – Building a Brand

Building a brand is all about image. And the way the public sees a sports hero can change drastically. But endorsements have worked with great success in the past – Nike and Michael Jordan being a case in point – the basketball player practically rescued the brand and created an iconic shoe – Nike’s Air Jordan. And big names like David Beckham and Tiger Woods have always been seen as reliable and dependable. But the Woods scandal could change all that. The golfer’s infidelities show that not all publicity is good publicity. And brands like Adidas ploughing huge sums of money into sporting individuals now looks like a risky business.

Endorsements: Fraught with Risk

One business analyst has written a report in light of the bad news story entitled: “Tiger Woods Fallout: Another Nail in the Coffin of the Expensive Endorsement Era.” In it, the analyst Omar Saad wrote that ‘Tiger-gate’ could mark a point in the world of big sporting sponsorships from brands like Adidas. Endorsements are now ‘fraught with risk’.
Adidas alongside Nike are the two leading sports’ brands that determine the market prices for sports endorsement and sponsorship. Celebrity athletes have helped make a brand, but bad associations could as easily break a brand. Some sponsors have retreated from Tiger Woods, severing all links with the golf star in light of the bad press; Accenture has removed all Woods branded merchandise from its offices and Gillette is said to be evaluating its approach to the golfing star.
It isn’t just the bad publicity that brands like Adidas have to worry about. The likelihood for Woods is a career break – which can result in millions of dollars in lost revenue not just for sport brands like Adidas and Woods himself but for the game of golf as a whole – when Tiger Woods dropped out of the game with a knee injury in 2008, audience ratings dropped by 47%.

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