Saturday, February 20, 2010

He has apologized, what more do you want?

Rarely has a news statement generated as much coverage as Tiger's statement on Friday. You can read good day after summary here of what worked and didn't during Tiger's time behind the podium. Or you could watch ESPN's almost non-stop coverage of the event. Judging by how much time the Worldwide Leader in Sports devoted to the story, Tiger was their lead story on Thursday AND Friday evening, I have to believe three things:

The company doesn't care about the Olympics, a made for television Lifetime channel event broadcast by another network.

They need Tiger to drive ratings in the long summer months when baseball is the only game on.

The Entire Sports Network was trying its best to displace the Golf Channel as the all Tiger Channel.

As PR people we can talk about what Woods should have done and how he should have done it, but the main point is that he needed to apologize and take clear responsibility for his actions. He did that.

Anyone listening to his awkward statement knows that he never could have made it through an interview, hostile or friendly.

From a PR standpoint a better question is what more does he need to do to put this behind him? My answer is going to make a lot of PR people unhappy: nothing, just shut up and play golf. There is nothing to be gained by continuing to apologize or answering any questions about who he slept with and when.

He merely has to start every interview with, "We are going to talk about golf." If the reporter doesn't like it, tough. You can't work in golf and not have access to Tiger. If Woods wins, smiles and returns to his family, the general public will forgive him. And those who don't forgive him now are unlikely to do so just because he takes a turn on Oprah's couch.

As his mother said, he made a mistake, but it wasn't illegal. It's time for all of us to recognize that he strayed and he has paid. Let's move on. There is nothing else to see.


Anonymous said...

From a PR standpoint, it is probably best, as you state, for Tiger to just focus on golf but from a humanitarian standpoint, I think he could do a lot to help other people who struggle with uncontrollable sexual appetites. If his return to his Buddhist faith and therapy sessions really do help him gain victory in this area of life, I think others would benefit from hearing about it. I would venture to say that the majority of male athletes struggle in this area of sexual inhibition more than taking steroids. I think Tiger’s road to recovery could help many of his peers in the sports world if he was to talk publicly about the personal steps involved in his path to “becoming a better person.”

Kelley Lynn Kassa said...

Tiger doesn't need to talk about golf. Tiger needs to take a cue from Nike -- Just do it.

As soon as Tiger returns to golf, the big story -- the only story -- is Tiger returned to golf.

The sponsors will be happy, the PGA will be happy, and Tiger -- and his golfing ability -- will be the story.

The lesson for Tiger: more golf, less talk.

-- KLK

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