Gatorade Letting Tiger Woods Go Thirsty

PepsiCo-owned sports beverage the latest to drop its endorsement of the rehabbing golf star

By Natalie Finn Feb 26, 2010 11:12 PMTags
Tiger WoodsEric Gay-Pool/Getty Images

When he finally returns to the PGA Tour, don't look for any Gatorade in Tiger Woods' Nike bag.

A day after the athletic wear company repledged its undying love for the apologetic golf star, PepsiCo-owned Gatorade announced that it was dropping its endorsement of Woods.

"We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship," said a spokeswoman for the beverage maker, which discontinued its Gatorade Tiger Focus energy drink in December. "We wish him all the best."

No one would say officially, of course, whether the recent slam to his image prompted their decision, but some mysteries solve themselves.

Accenture, which ironically was sponsoring the PGA tournament that was going on at the same time Woods made his big apology, was the first to completely cut ties, followed by AT&T.

Watchmaker Tag Heuer and Gillette, without completely firing him, have both minimized his role in any advertising campaigns for the near future.

But Electronic Arts, which produces Woods' titular best-selling golf game, and Nike, which outfits the rehabbing golfer, have continued to stick by him through thin and thinner.

"Under the circumstances, the more he deals with the issues and the better he deals with them, the better off he'll be when he does return," Nike president Charles Denson told the Associated Press Thursday.

"We've been supportive of Tiger since the story broke and we continue to be supportive. He's got issues he needs to deal with and he's dealing with them. We are looking forward to him getting back on the golf course."

Where he's apparently going to be drinking a beverage made by Coca-Cola®.


The athletes who get our Famous Fans cheering probably aren't having as much trouble with their sponsors.