The Absurdity of Commercial Endorsements
The Absurdity of Commercial Endorsements

They both have screwed a lot of people out of a lot of money, at least according to two spotlight driven economic professors from UCAL, who recently revealed the results of a “study” in which they claim that Tiger Woods recent infidelities towards his family have cost investors up to $12 billion in damages.
Excuse me?

That would put Tiger right in the line up of Financial Criminals like Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, and yes Mr. Charles Ponzi. Actually in overall terms of crimes against humanity, Tiger has clearly beaten them all according to this study. $12 billion in 30 days? It took Bernie years.

The “Study” conducted by researchers Victor Stango and Christopher Knittel, finds Woods‚Äôs affairs to hurt his sponsors‚Äô market value to the tune of $12 billion dollars. How did they come up with this ridiculous figure? By comparison they say.
“We estimate that shareholders of Tiger Woods’ sponsors lost $5-12 billion since his car accident on November 27, relative to shareholders of firms that Mr. Woods does not endorse,” the researchers wrote, adding that millions of shareholders were affected.

So let me get this clear, Tiger’s infidelities deflated our economy with $12 billion inside of 30 days.
“Our analysis makes clear that while having a celebrity of Tiger Woods’ stature as an endorser has undeniable upside, the downside risk is substantial, too,” Stango, a professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, said in a statement released along with the study. Beyond the fact that the whole endorsement issue has grown way out of proportion where it comes to Sport Celebrities, it is not surprising that some supposedly intelligent people try to get in the limelight with utterly ludicrous conclusions.

In their study, the two professors said they looked at stock market returns for the 13 trading days after Nov. 27, the date of the car incident that ignited the Woods scandal and concluded that the scandal reduced shareholder value in the sponsor companies by 2.3 percent, or about $12 billion. They called the results statistically significant and said the overall pattern of losses at the parent companies was unlikely to stem from ordinary day-to-day variation in their stock prices. Well that’s an assumption if I ever heard one.

Let’s see, there once was a basketball phenomenon called Michael Jordan who had numerous affairs during his top days of brandname endorsements. There was one guy named Magic Johnson who contracted HIV in one of his numerous adulterous encounters, Kobe Bryant seemed to have some problems there for a while, and that is just one sport. Superstars live on a different planet and marrying a superstar involves a lot of marital risk. Affairs are thrown at their feet at every turn they make, anywhere in the world.

Tiger Woods’ mistake was that he was an amateur in hiding his tracks, or maybe he should have called his buddy “Big Brother” Michael Jordan for some tips on How to Evade Exposure. Let me be clear, if you decide to get married you should not play behind your spouse’s back. But if you’re on your way to become a superstar in anything that attracts media recognition and a lot of fans, you shouldn’t get married until it’s all behind you. The temptations are just too big and manifold. It comes with the territory and is the nature of the beast. Oh I can hear a lot of protests out there from a world of goody two shoes who were never in a superstar or even star position, but I can tell you from life’s experience that it is almost impossible to face thousands of invitations and walk away from them each and every time.

If there are any sponsors out there who think they can buy a super star’s endorsement beyond his or her talent in a particular sports, than they should have their head examined and their VP Marketing fired.

Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are arguably the two greatest golfers ever to¬† play the game. Don’t elevate them to Sainthood and expect them to live by your rules of conduct. It’s not going to happen. And better yet, when you find out that yet “Another Hero Bites the Dust”, don’t blame your stupidity on the hero. He only wanted to score points. “I knew Jack”….oh wait that was a phrase related to Jack Kennedy, another fallen hero after the fact. Norma Jean seemed to hold his attention when he was at the top of his game.

Grow up people. I have seen thousands of traveling salesmen in bars, desperately trying to hook a date. Superstars don’t have to hook, the opportunity is thrown in their laps because you made them superstars beyond their talent. And sponsors: Accept that you buy their talent for these endorsements and¬† not their lifestyles behind close doors.
The full study from the 2 moron professors in California can be found on the Internet at

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