Friday, January 18, 2013

Tiger Woods’ True Intentions Behind His Latest Commercial


Article written by Phil Oscarson - Guest Poster
No athlete has seen their reputation ruined as quickly or as drastically as Tiger Woods. At the beginning of 2009 no athlete was more respected as he was. Tiger Woods had almost single handedly brought the sport of professional golf to the forefront of the American conscience. It is probably due to the previous lack of attention given to golf that allowed Tiger to become so universally beloved.

Tiger Woods 8x10 Photo Color Photo - (Golf Hall of Famer - PGA Legend) Image 2Throughout his entire career Tiger had vigorously strived to protect his private life. He constructed huge walls to keep the media and fans out and because we couldn't see anything wrong we assumed there wasn't  He is a golfer after all, not one of those basketball or football playing “thugs.”

In the other major American sports, problems arising off the field are common place; almost expected. When a basketball player cheats on his wife the public meets the news with a “no-duh” attitude. Golf on the other hand has long been considered a ‘gentleman’s game’ and so when the news broke on November 27th, 2009 that Tiger had been cheating on his wife the sports world was shaken.

Tiger lost endorsements and then started losing golf tournaments. The almost universal approval Tiger enjoyed was gone. Now 3 years later Tiger is making a comeback. Time heals all so they say; or almost all. Tiger is no longer the imposing, unbeatable force that he used to be. He is currently ranked 2nd among golfers in the world rankings and has not won a major in almost five years. Still some of his endorsements have come back and the negativity that surrounded his name is fading.

All of this came to my mind as I watched Tiger’s new Nike commercial that paired him with Rory Mcilroy. In the commercial Mcilroy refers to Tiger as old. The two then struggle to assert their superiority over the other by hitting golf balls into a variety of different kinds of holes.

To me the commercial seemed to be a miniature allegory of the state of Tiger’s career. I don’t know if I have ever seen Tiger do a commercial like this. There was the classic Tiger golf trick commercial. That commercial was playful and confident. All that it did was showcase Tiger’s powers as the king of golf. Despite the playfulness of the commercial Tiger still managed to remain distant.

About a year after Tiger’s fallout Nike released a commercial with a narration by Earl Woods, Tiger’s deceased father. It acted as a de facto public apology to his fans.

With this commercial Tiger has humbly stepped off of his throne as the undisputed king of golf. By agreeing to appear with another golfer, and one that is arguably more popular currently than Tiger is, Tiger demonstrates a vulnerability that I have never seen before. The commercial shows that Tiger feels a need to connect with fans on a more human level like he has never needed to before. The commercial also has a hopeful quality to it.

Rory Mcilroy is on top of the sport right now but in this commercial it is obvious that Tiger intends to become the best once again.

About the Author:
Phil Oscarson is a freelance writer for americangolf.com. If you’re looking for any place to golf, follow the link. When Phil is writing about golf, he’s watching it. If it’s not golf season, he’s most likely in a manic state of depression.

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