New Nike ad for Woods' return to No. 1 in world creates social media storm

Tiger Woods' ad from Nike
Nike Golf via Twitter
"When asked about his goals such as getting back to number one, he has said consistently winning is the way to get there," Nike Golf spokesman Beth Gast said of quote in the new ad that has caused controversy.
By
Mae Anderson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | 6:53 p.m.

NEW YORK -- Maybe winning doesn't take care of everything.

Nike is causing a social media storm with its latest online ad showing a picture of Tiger Woods overlaid with a quote from him, "Winning takes care of everything."

The ad, posted on Facebook and Twitter, is supposed to allude to the fact that the golfer recovered from career stumbles to regain his world No. 1 ranking on Monday, which he lost in October 2010. But some say it's inappropriate in light of Woods' past marital woes. It's the latest controversy from the athletic giant who has recently had to cut ties with biker Lance Armstrong and runner Oscar Pistorius due to separate scandals.

Woods has long used the phrase – at least since 2009 – whenever reporters ask him about his or other golfers' rankings.

The ad has garnered more than 8,000 likes and 2,000 shares on Facebook, as well as hundreds of comments, many congratulating Woods on the ranking, but others commenting that the ad sends the wrong message out in light of Woods' past problems. His five-year marriage to Elin Nordegren collapsed in 2010 after multiple affairs came to light.

Others responded on Twitter. Annie Kessler, 25, in Columbus, Ohio, tweeted that the ad was a "poor choice" for Nike. She said in an interview that she felt compelled to tweet because even though she understands why Nike would want to promote Woods, the phrase itself is inappropriate because of Woods' past infidelity.

Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said that the ad references Wood's refrain that he competes to win.

"When asked about his goals such as getting back to number one, he has said consistently winning is the way to get there," she said in an email response to a query. "The statement references that sentiment and is a salute to his athletic performance."

Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates in New York, said the ad signals that Nike believes it is time Woods – who in addition to his new No. 1 ranking is now in a much-touted relationship with Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn – is back in the spotlight.

"They're looking at this and saying, `Time has passed, he's winning again, it's time to turn up the volume on our association,' " he said. "But it's risky when you associate with a celebrity only based on winning or losing. Consumers care about how you play the game: both the actual game and the game of life."

Marketing consultant Laura Ries was more positive on the move.

"The reality is what he said is true," Ries said. "Whether or not they should have said it in an ad is another story."

The ad comes after Nike has had to sever ties with two other high-profile athletes. It dropped Armstrong in October, before Armstrong himself came clean in January, citing insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade. And in February it suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee runner from South Africa charged with premeditated murder in the Valentine's Day killing of his girlfriend.

Nike never cut ties with Woods when his scandal broke in 2010, and even tried to help resuscitate his image with a black-and-white ad four months later featuring a voice-over by his late father.


Comments

bayarealpc

Why is everyone blaming Tiger Woods without knowing what really happened. Everyone can see from the outside that Tiger Woods did break his marital obligations but nobody can see what went on behind closed doors. Nobody except Tiger knows how she treated him when the doors were closed. The one thing I wonder is how many wife's that love their husband would hit him in the head with a golf club on the unproven word of one woman. In California this would be attempted murder. This is only my opinion

kennethlilly

Tiger proves it day in and day out if you get knocked down get up brush the dust off your back and keep it moovin... I love to read what the Tiger haters have to say, it shows their IQ level is extremely low. And when will the likes of Sergio Garcia, Rory Sabbatini and even Greg Norman understand.. Don't make the Tiger mad it only makes for a feather in his cap and a loss in their world... Don't throw fire on Gasoline....Go TIGER!!!! JUST DO IT!!!

kennethlilly

Tiger proves it day in and day out if you get knocked down get up brush the dust off your back and keep it moovin... I love to read what the Tiger haters have to say, it shows their IQ level is extremely low. And when will the likes of Sergio Garcia, Rory Sabbatini and even Greg Norman understand.. Don't make the Tiger mad it only makes for a feather in his cap and a loss in their world... Don't throw fire on Gasoline....Go TIGER!!!! JUST DO IT!!!

randy.hacker

I wondered how long it would take this to drop into racism. Robert, race has nothing to do with it. BEFORE his marital mis-steps I had high hopes that Tiger was growing up and becoming an honorable man. He had a beautiful wife and amazing family. We all waited to see what Tiger was going to do on Sunday and he seldom disappointed. Whether Tiger had been red, yellow, black or white wouldn't have changed anything. Poor behavior isn't limited to race. Regardless of race, creed or country of origin, none of us, famous or not, should get a pass when we do something incredibly ignorant. Not me, not you, not Tiger, not anyone. Speaking for myself, I don't "HATE" Tiger Woods, never have. Still like to watch him play and like to see him win. It broke my heart to see him AND his family go through this. But, Tiger's a big boy and, though he could have taken the high road, chose to go to the dark side. Now he has consequences. He asked for it, let him suffer through it like any of us commoners have to. (BTW, Tigers not the only one on the tour who needs to clean their act up. Others just haven't gotten caught yet) One last example....Payne Stewart. A man with the idea the rules of life didn't apply to him. Unfaithful to wife and family and a stain on the image of the PGA tour. (BTW....a white man) He became a stellar example of a gentleman and a man who could be trusted by his family and fans. Had Payne died before the transformation, his legacy would have been completely different. As it turned out his legacy is one of being a great golfer who played golf great. Morals matter.

coop_2

Tiger is the number one in the world... Anyone bitchin is not!!! Go Tiger!!! And to hell with everyone that thinks his personal life has shlt to do with his golf career.

believer772001

Remember Beloved, The devil "Hates" and looks for a seemingly rationale to appear "objective" BUT you can see through it if you're wise....THEY thrive on critizing Tiger no matter what he says or does.....even BEFORE his marrital mis-steps, these people hated him,...it's just that NOW they can hide behind a pretentious excuse to hide their RACISM......the DEVIL IS A LIAR!

randy.hacker

WOW Kenya....you're all about the Benjamins aren't you? You can cheat on your wife with every bimbo and lowlife that crosses your path and, if you have the ability to pay $110M you can buy your way out of it? WOW. And...Not a moral figure? With his morals, obviously not. Tiger plays golf great.....he's NOT a great golfer. No scandal ever around Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson....all GREAT golfers(MEN) who also played golf great. Whether you or Tiger or anyone want to believe it or accept it or not, Tiger is a role model. He chose to be a lousy role model so, let's just sweep his crap under the rug? He chose this public life and along with that comes responsibility. For far too long we've just passed off immoral behavior to the point where it's acceptable to be a liar, cheater, adulterer, pervert, thief or (Fill in the Blank). Along with power and position comes responsibility. You said "cheated on his wife-not good but not a crime". Ask his former wife and his children if what he did to them is a crime or not. He showed the entire world they were nothing more that another trophy on his shelf. Sorry Kenya....that's a crime and a shame. So....Oscar....obviously winning didn't take care of everything did it? Lance....how's that "winning takes care of everything" work out for him.
Tiger.....Winning takes care of everything doesn't cover over the stench in your solid gold litter box. When you show the world you're winning as a GREAT MAN and that your moral compass points in the right direction then you can spout your philosophies and we'll listen. Until then, shut up and hit the ball.

kenya.dixon

And another thing, Oscar Pistorious killed a human being and Lance Armstrong cheated the government and sponsors out of milions of dollars while defrauding an entire industry. Tiger cheated on his wife - not good but not a crime and he paid $110 million dollars for it. It's over. He is a golfer not a politician, religious person or moral figure. I would suggest that people stop harping on this one.

kenya.dixon

Tiger is correct. I am sick of hearing about the divorce. It's over and done with. Let's move on with some great golf.
BTW, all the people pointing live in glass houses.
Winning takes care of everything. Going to buy another pair of Nike golf shoes now.