Sponsors React to Wodds’ Statement
Almost as soon as Tiger Woods left the podium in Florida on Friday, some of the corporate sponsors who've stood by him started firing off prepared statements of support.
Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said in a statement: "Tiger has apologized and made his position clear. Nike fully supports him and his family. We look forward to him returning to golf."
Peter Moore, president of EA Sports, said the company's relationship with Woods remains unchanged: "It was good to see Tiger address the public today, and we're supportive of his focus toward family and rebuilding his life. He remains one of the greatest athletes in history, and as a long-standing partner, we look forward to seeing Tiger back on the golf course when the time is right for him and his family."
Terry Melia of Upper Deck said the company "continues to stand by Tiger Woods and wishes him all the best on his road to recovery. Our exclusive autographed memorabilia contract with Tiger remains intact."
Gillette, which has downplayed use of Woods in its ads, also expressed support. "Tiger spoke today and addressed the issues he felt were most important. His words stand on their own. We wish him and his family the best," spokesman Michael Norton said in a statement.
Not a single one of his remaining sponsors has aired a prime-time TV commercial starring Woods since Nov. 29, according to Aaron Lewis of Nielsen. That was two days after the crash that triggered the media frenzy over his extramarital affairs.