This Sunday, as I browsed Google News stories (mostly reading the one on the Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee) I noticed the top trendy news stories all seemed to be about Tiger Woods.
Jay Busbee of Devil Ball Golf and streamed to Yahoo! Sports and finally landing as a top story on Google News caught my attention with his post “Tiger Woods Wins Again, and for Now, That’s Enough.”
Busbee talks of Tiger’s win at the Arnold Palmer Tourney earlier this year and his recent win at the Jack Nicklaus’ event. But, in Busbee’s eyes, “Tiger Woods will never be ‘back’ to the levels of popularity and skill he reached in the early 2000s. That time is gone, a memory, no closer now than grainy YouTube videos.” For real Mr. Busbee?
The Man, The Brand
I have a little trouble with this story. First off, Busbee banishes the greatness of Woods forever and in subsequent paragraphs talks of how his PGA wins have tied Jack Nicklaus and Woods remains second in tourney wins only to Sam Snead (he’s got 82 wins). Why bash him and then praise him?
Forgive me Mr. Busbee but when Tiger’s women woes began, the entire world was shocked, not just the “golfing” or “athlete” world. Tiger was our man from the US of A who could and did win—a lot. We were mad at Tiger sure, but we forgave him, he’s a golfing legend and a “brand” and nope Mr. Busbee, the American sports-crazed public is nowhere near letting this “brand” die.
Even Great Brands Make Mistakes
Remember when Netflix thought the best thing to do was raise prices and start a new division called Qwikster? We hated Netflix but they apologized, dropped Qwikster and now we love them again. Remember when Bank of America said it would charge its customers an extra five bucks just to access their money via an ATM? Oh how we yelled and Bank of America canceled the new fee (even though they continue to make money off many other unfair fees). Still, I would bet people are still banking at Bank of America and BofA is probably loaning money to the very secure and credit worthy.
Big brand names make mistakes and we still take them back. We have no choice. We are in love with them. We sometimes get mad at them, but without them, we’d have to do the unthinkable—try and find another brand as good as what we leave behind.
Still, I for one was also disgusted with my golf legend yet I forgive him and I don’t think you can call him a has-been or someone who is now a bad golfer. The man has talent and along with that talent and dollars comes a lot of things we like such as his foundation.
The last I read, the school he funds is a place where inner-city kids are exposed to the greatest of things like technology and emotional intelligence learning along with social justice education. How can that be bad? And, I’m not 100 percent sure on this but I think all of his golf winnings go to his foundation and he uses his sponsorship money to live on (or vice versa).
I don’t think Mr. Busbee is right. Tiger Woods shall prevail. He will overcome Sam Snead as far as PGA wins—his brand will live on.
Our sports heroes are brands. Look at quarterbacks like Eli and Peyton Manning and New Orleans Saints hold-out Drew Brees. We cheer them on, we love their foundations and if nothing else, these “brands” offer us something we all want—some excitement in the afternoon or evening and what I ask Mr. Busbee, is wrong with that?
Image Credit: Tiger Woods, Wikimedia Commons