Despite his sex scandal and dropped sponsors, Tiger Woods topped Forbes Fab 40, a ranking of the world’s most valuable names in sports, with a modest brand value of $82 million.
Even though Woods isn’t likely to see a repeat of the $105 million he earned from sponsors last year anytime soon, his remaining deals, including those with Nike, Electronic Arts and Procter & Gamble’s Gillette, will still earn enough to keep him the world’s highest-paid athlete in 2010, even if he does not hit a single golf ball all year. Woods’ 2009 endorsement total, on which this list is based, was more than the next three highest-earning athlete spokesmen combined.
The Forbes report also suggested Tiger take a cue from Kobe Byrant to rebuild his image. So that would mean holding a super awkward press conference with Elin standing by his side — if she chooses not to divorce him. And it would call for Tiger to return to golf sooner rather than later. But as more time passes, chances of that seem slimmer, and the longer he chooses to stay away from the links, the more likely it will lead to more dropped sponsors (and decrease his “brand value”).
Meanwhile, last week Bloomberg BusinessWeek revealed that Tiger stands atop its list of most powerful athletes.
So, according to the dollar signs, he’s still undeniably the sporting world’s number-one brand man (and golfer). I guess sex sells, or something like that. For now.