It is hard to imagine a stronger brand in sports than Tiger Woods. He is the perfect athlete: incredibly gifted, focused, disciplined, well spoken and of high moral fiber. The Tiger brand includes achievement, humility and a dedication to family.
All of which makes the unfolding drama around Tiger’s car crash Friday morning very puzzling. What precisely was going on? And what is going on now?
It appears that Tiger crashed his car and got a bit banged up in the process. Fortunately the injuries were apparently not serious. This is not exceptionally big news; people get into car crashes all the time.
But there are some very odd parts to the story. First, where precisely was Tiger going at 2 AM the night after Thanksgiving? What is even open at that hour? What is a father of young kids doing driving around at that time of night? I have young kids and they are up and ready to roll bright and early.
Second, there is the odd story of his wife smashing the car’s rear window in order to get him out, which sounds dramatic and all but somehow doesn’t quite make sense.
Third, and most puzzling, why won’t he clear things up? Tiger could end all the drama by saying, “I was off to get some Tylenol because I had a terrible headache,” or even “I couldn’t sleep so I was going to the pub for a nightcap.” Instead, today he released a very odd statement:
The statement really doesn’t clear anything up at all. It only makes it clear that there is more to the story than we know at this time.
Now perhaps this is all inappropriate peering into someone’s private life, as Tiger implies in his statement. But when you are a well-known brand like Tiger the intense scrutiny comes with the glory and the big bucks.
This will be an interesting story to watch in the coming days. Will the Tiger brand take a hit? It certainly appears to be in trouble now.