Prior to this scandal, Woods had an image as an All-American, clean-cut family man that helped him rack up one endorsement after another. In fact, when I do my Personal Branding seminars, I always cite Woods as the epitome the perfect corporate brand. Now, I’ll have to find someone else!
Post-scandal, advertisers like Accenture are rushing to distance themselves from the athlete and his tarnished reputation. The public no longer has trust in him, which means he no longer has value for his sponsors. Whether or not Woods will recover remains to be seen, but he’s undoubtedly got to do some major damage control.
This is just a dramatic example of how what we do outside of the office (or, in this case, the golf course) can have a big impact on our “brands.” Your message should always be consistent, so you should always be wary of engaging in anything that deviates from the professional image you’ve worked hard to cultivate. In this case, Woods’ behavior was not consistent with his image, and in turn keeping him on as a spokesperson would not have been consistent with the image his sponsors want to project.
Now…any suggestions as to who the new “perfect” brand will be?