Tiger Woods – The Consequences of Choice – AT&T Ends Sponsorship

December 31, 2009

Having attended several major golf tournaments, I must say that watching Tiger Woods play golf was like poetry in motion.  He was (is) awesome as a professional golfer.  Most thought he was sweaky clean as well…which is why so many major companies selected Tiger as their spokesperson.  But, as I say in every presentation I make on ethics, EVERY CHOICE HAS A CONSEQUENCE.

As the end of the year and decade draw to a close, AT&T announced that they are ending their business relationship with Tiger Woods.  This announcement adds to a growing list of sponsors who are dropping Woods after his announcement of infidelity and the media storm that has followed.

AT&T has not used Woods’ image extensively in advertising, but its logo appeared on his golf bag. The original sponsorship agreement was billed as a “multi-year” agreement when it was signed early in 2009. Woods has also been the host of the AT&T National PGA Tour event since it started in 2007 and AT&T has said it will continue to sponsor the event.

Accenture, the consulting firm, dropped Tiger several weeks ago, saying he was “no longer the right representative” of the company’s values.  Likewise, Gillette said it won’t air ads for its razors that include Woods or include him in public appearances.  Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, who initially said they stood by Tiger, eventually stated that they would “downscale” its use of golfer Tiger Woods’ image in its advertising campaigns for the foreseeable future.

CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES – It is said often that you reap what you sow.  Whether we like that comment reality is – it is a fact.  Tiger Woods is now facing what for him is likely the greatest challenge of his life.  No longer will he be defined by the extraordinary talent on the golf course that he has, but he is now challenged with personal life issues that will define a large part of his legacy.

While I am not proud of my past (details here), when the “card” so to speak was pulled from the “house of cards” I had created and I knew that my hidden past was soon to be brought to light – a wise man shared the following with me.  He said, “You have made a terrible mistake, but YOU are not a mistake!  The choices you make today will define the life you create in the future and the legacy you leave for your two children.  MAKE THOSE CHOICES WISELY.”

While Tiger Woods will continue to experience the consequences from the choices he has made, he has the opportunity to make different – more empowering choices – and from them he can rise from the ashes and become more than just a great golfer.

QUESTION: What advice would you give Tiger today that could help him?

Tag Heuer joins Accenture, Gilette in dropping Tiger Woods: Every choice has a consequence

December 19, 2009
Every choice has a consequence. That’s a statement I make in every presentation. How true! Tiger Woods, celebrity spokesperson and golf avatar, is now experiencing what that statement means in reality. Accenture recently severed its six-year relationship with the sports star. Now Tag Heuer has removed Woods from its advertising campaigns. Not to mention AT&T, Gilette, and Pepsico.

There is little doubt that each of these companies’ general counsel reviewed its contract with Tiger Woods as regards to his personal behavior — otherwise known as “the morals clause.” The interesting ethical question now is: How could Woods execute the endorsement contracts, knowing there was a morals clause but living a less-than-ethical life off the green?

Now there’s question that Woods’ indiscretions may not just be personal. The other day, news broke that the FBI is investigating one of Woods’ doctors, Dr. Anthony Galea, who was found with human growth hormone in his bag at the U.S.-Canada border in late October. Let’s hope those reports don’t link Woods to further indiscretion.

Whatever happens, certainly, time will heal the open wounds that Woods is now experiencing. And sports enthusiasts will want to see him play golf once again. But I predict his remaining contracts (Nike and Electronic Arts) will either be canceled or lapse over time. The big paydays are likely over.

Every choice has a consequence. For Woods — for all of us. I sure wish Woods had elected a more ethical route. For now, the best I can say is, the choices that Woods makes from this day forward will define the legacy he leaves the golf world and, more importantly, his children.  Tiger, make those choices wisely.

Do you think sponsors were right to drop Tiger Woods? Share your comments here.

Golf, Coca-Cola, Beer, San Francisco, Dogs and Other Year End Useless (but interesting) Tidbits

December 30, 2007


From time to time one needs to break the serious contemplation of thought centered around choices and consequences. In fact, several who read this have asked if my “motivational” presentations are actually fun – since the topics I write about are often heavy. Well, yes…of course they are fun – otherwise, I wouldn’t be a motivational speaker. Duh.

Well, to change the tempo of my writing here are some helpful tidbits that, if nothing else, will help provide a different perspective and can change the energy in a meeting when used (another helpful tidbit to those presenters out there).

  • I n the 1400’s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have “the rule of thumb.”
  • Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled “Gentlemen Only…Ladies Forbidden” and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
  • The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
  • Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U. S. Treasury
  • Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
  • Coca-Cola was originally green.
  • It is impossible to lick your elbow.
  • The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
  • The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $16,400
  • The average number of people airborne over the US in any given hour: 61,000
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer
  • The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
  • 111,111,111 times 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  • If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2nd, but the last signature wasn’t added until 5 years later.
  • Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested? Obsession
  • What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers have in common? All were invented by women.
  • What is the only food that doesn’t spoil? Honey
  • Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year? Father’s Day
  • In Shakespear’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase – “good night, sleep tight.”
  • It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today at the honeymoon.
  • In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them “Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.” It’s where we get the phrase “Mind you P’s and Q’s.”
  • Likewise, many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. “Wet your whistle” is the phrase inspired by this practice.
  • At least 75% of the folks who read this will try to lick their elbow!
  • Read this next part and don’t delete. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteerrs in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

You’ll kno you living in 2007 and moving into 2008 when…

  1. You accidently enter your pin on the microwave.
  2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.
  3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
  4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
  5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.
  6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone’s home to help you carry in the groceries.
  7. Leaving your house without your cell phone, which you didn’t even have the first 20, 30 or 50 years of your life, is now cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
  8. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
  9. You’re reading this nodding and laughing.
  10. and, now U R laughing at yourself.

Happy New Year – and remember – Every Choice Has A Consequence. Let’s make our 2008 choices powerful and full of positive results.