Fortune Tries To Convince Everyone That Tiger Woods Is Going Poor
Tiger Woods may no longer be the king of people's hearts, but he's still the king of endorsement deals — raking in an estimated $60 million annually per Sports Illustrated's Fortune 50 list. This, despite losing the likes of Accenture, Gillette, Gatorade and Tag Heuer as sponsors since his well-chronicled infidelity scandal.
But according to Fortune, Woods could very well soon find himself in the poorhouse, with Daniel Roberts calling his recent signing with Japanese heat rub company Kowa "more like a moment of desperation than a return to form."
Citing a "trusted Fortune source with reliable information," Roberts writes that IMG wasn't exactly sweating bullets when Woods jumped ship and followed agent Mark Steinberg to Excel Sports, due to the fact that his endorsement earnings have taken such a considerable hit.
The source says IMG's commissions for 2011 — they'll continue to get a chunk of Tiger's endorsement deals through 2013 — will be as low as $1.5 million.
According to the source, Nike also penalized Woods for his indiscretions — cutting his deal from $20 million to $10 million in 2010 as part of a two-year payment reduction. He will receive the same reduced amount in 2011.
Then of course there's the fact that Tiger hasn't exactly been playing a lot of golf lately. He won no majors in 2009, went completely winless in 2010, and his 2011 earnings to date total $571,363. By comparison, he earned $10.5 million in tournament winnings in 2009.
Meanwhile, Woods is currently facing a rumored $100 million divorce settlement, and a $54.5 million mortgage on his home in Jupiter Island, Fla., that he must pay off in full by January 2016.
His 2010 improvements to the dwelling and the property cost him $6 million, including three separate residential pools, a tennis court, a golf green with a few holes, an elevator, and a 14,736-square foot improvement to the interior of the house — evidence that Woods is not used to living cheaply.
Well, if we were the highest-earning American athlete for eight years running, we wouldn't be used to living cheaply, either. As for Roberts' conclusion:
To fix up his financial short game, Tiger Woods is going to have to start making money again the old-fashioned way: by playing the sport he's known for.
Look, we get that Tiger isn't the untouchable money-making machine that he once was. But to imply that he'll soon be a candidate for food stamps is a bit far-fetched, no? There's the aforementioned $60 million from endorsements in 2011, and although those endorsements will continue to dip if he's not playing well, he's still Tiger Woods, the most recognizable golfer on the planet. There is nothing short of killing a baby deer live on TV during the Masters that would completely kill his off-the-course money.
As for the money he gets from winning tournaments: injuries have kept him from playing recently, but even at his apex, Tiger Woods was still making way more money off the course than on it. His PGA earnings hovered around $10 million from 2005-2007, arguably the best stretch of his career. In 2009 and 2010, he made $92 million and $70 million respectively. We're not ready to sound the MC Hammer Alarm of Celebrity Financial Ruin quite yet.
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