Tiger Woods suffers endorsement setbacks

Tiger Woods at the 2006 PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods at the 2006 PGA Championship.

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Tiger Woods’ once-envied endorsement portfolio recently took two big hits: Gatorade terminated its contract with the embattled golfer, and Procter & Gamble’s CEO said he doesn’t know if Woods will ever appear in another Gillete commercial.

The decision by the athletic-drink maker doesn’t come as a surprise, considering Gatorade already had decided to discontinue a Tiger Woods-line of drinks before his acts of infidelity became known. In light of Woods’ wrecked image, it’s also questionable whether Gatorade needed him as a brand ambassador, especially when it can call upon any number of athlete superstars in its marketing stable.

“We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship,” a Gatorade spokeswoman said Feb. 26.

She said Gatorade will continue its partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation and declined to say whether his contract was terminated early.

Woods’ future with Gillette appears next in line for scrutiny following P&G chief Bob McDonald’s comments Feb. 23.

“He doesn’t need to be distracted by us using his advertising, and we don’t need the distraction of us using the advertising, either,” McDonald told The Associated Press. Last year, the trio of Woods, baseball’s Derek Jeter and tennis’ Roger Federer was showcased in a Gillette campaign.

Asked whether Woods will appear in future ads, McDonald said: “I don’t know. . . we’ve got lots of great spokespeople.”

Gatorade’s termination follows the dimissal of Woods by AT&T and Accenture; Nike and EA Sports have remained steadfast in their support of him.

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