For EA Sports, Few Options Other than Toxic Tiger

"Sponsors like Gillette and Electronic Arts are going to drop Tiger Woods regardless of what they are saying now," writes a Forbes national editor. But who would that leave to carry on EA's golf franchise? Nobody, basically.

"Forget about any golfers picking up the sponsorship slack," says Michael K. Ozanian. "According to E Poll Market Research, aside from Tiger, they generate no buzz with consumers."

He's talking about all products, not just video games, but if Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk can't sell shaving cream, they probably can't push a $60 title either. Tiger Woods has been the lead endorser of EA Sports PGA Tour series since 1998 - only John Madden has a longer association on the title of a sports video game. EA axing Tiger is a far different thing than AT&T or Accenture (although Nike and Gatorade have comparable product lines in play here too.)

This is all speculation of course. EA Sports' latest guidance is this stand-by-your-man news release. It's got a major release coming up with Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, a free-to-play browser-based product that's been in a closed beta already, with another coming up soon. And as said above, if Woods is so toxic that he can't rep a game, EA Sports would have no reasonable fallback. Of course this scandal is a disaster for Woods as a business; it's not a party for his corporate partners either.

Tiger's Troubles: The Winners
[Forbes]