World’s highest paid athlete not so long ago, name Tiger Woods today finds few buyers. His presence once was a guarantee for complete sell out of sponsorship packages for a golf event. Today, there are few buyers for the athlete whose net worth was estimated to be $1.4 billion from appearance fee, prize money and endorsement deals. The man who would once get up to $ 40 million per annum from one of his sponsors is today not able to find a sponsor for his tournament.
That is the present of sports biggest brand icon Tiger Woods, who just four years ago was atop the Forbes 100 athletes list with an annual income of $ 78.1 million – way ahead of the tennis legend Roger Federer at the No. 2 position.
Fallen from grace, Woods today is struggling to find a buyer for his name. His tournament outside Washington is still talking to potential title sponsors, including the incumbent Quicken Loans, which did not renew the contract, state media reports.
However, the tournament in spite of not having a sponsor till date is reported to be on the schedule for the new season. The National, and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has said it was not coming off. “We made the commitment,” Monahan said. “Our players are going to be showing up there and we’re going to be playing for that amount of money ($7.1 million).”
The tournament, run by the Tiger Woods Foundation, originally was scheduled to return to Congressional for 2018. But with uncertainly over title sponsorship, the PGA Tour decided to opt out its contract with the club for 2018 and 2020.
Monahan, however, said there was no guarantee that the National would be played in 2019 and beyond. “Let’s say we didn’t renew with Quicken and there was another sponsor and they had a different objective. They wanted to be at a different golf course, a different part of town. They wanted to do something different,” Monahan said. “You can’t be wed to one golf course that might limit your ability to get a deal done.”
The tournament remains in contact with Quicken Loans, and there are conversations with other potential sponsors.
Still on the table is a scenario in which Detroit-based Quicken Loans might be interested in having the PGA Tour closer to its headquarters. But that would be after 2018. Monahan went from “highly, highly likely” to “it’s for sure in D.C.I can say that” for the National to be held in Washington this season, with or without a title sponsor.
The Houston Open also is without a title sponsor. Finding replacements is a priority for the PGA Tour, along with concern that Bridgestone might not renew its title sponsorship after next year of the World Golf Championship event at Firestone.