BARRINGTON, Ill-Tiger Woods threatened to leave the United States if Gatorade does not bend over backwards, swallow it's pride and reinstate his sponsorship. Sources close to the golfer confirmed Mr. Woods will temporarily leave the U.S.to give his [former] sponsor time for reflection 'to reconsider it's decision' concerning their future involvement with him or else extend his stay-indefinitely.
“I have let my sponsors down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior pertaining to my sponsorship. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my other understanding, supportive sponsors Nike and EA Sports. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.” said Tiger in a prepared statement.
“But this does not give any of my sponsors the right to embarrass me in public. I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, not a professional man whore” he added.
PesiCo, parent company of Gatorade denied claims the move had anything to do with the married golfer's controversial Nov. 27 car crash or alleged affairs with ten confirmed women. In fact, it denied ever ending it's sponsorship with Mr. Woods to begin with.
“I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really...er...we are amazed to hear the gutter press say we dropped Tiger” said Mary Doherty Director of Communications at Gatorade as she shuffled some papers on top of others.
"We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus, the drink, along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010. We hope to share more about our 2010 plans soon," she further explained.
Nevertheless Tiger's spokesperson and close family members would have none of it and and reminded them they had heard a similar story before especially the “innovative products” part on that letter from Accenture.
This prompted Head of Marketing Hector Huerta to come out strongly, add some credibility to her counterpart's statement and set the record straight
“Whatever regrets we have about letting Tiger Focus, one of our most profitable brands go down, have been shared with and felt by us alone. We have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which we [as a company] must stick to that principle even though it’s difficult.” said Huerta
“We will strive to reduce the percentage of electrolytes and for all your support over the years Tiger[the man] we offer our profound thanks.”he added.
Quizzed by reporters on the rationale of reducing electrolyte levels in their future energy drinks Huerta explained it was to make 'better husbands and fathers of their customers and...of course a future partner'.
“On the same note, i insist. With all due respect ladies and gentlemen we didn't drop Tiger passe, just the drink. At your age i believe you can tell the difference between the two and just for the records we don't burn bridges at Gatorade.” said Huerta
“You never know when you might need performance delivered. It's in Tiger-he has the power to drive sales up” he concluded.