“He expressed an interest in growing his own Tiger brand and we have been looking for marketing savings.”
According to this Marketwatch story the timing is "coincidental," but as Bloomberg's Greg Bensinger reports, the Tiger-GM split obviously comes at a time when the car company needs to save money to fuel its fleet of private executive jets. Thanks to readers Adam and Chuck for the heads up.
Woods, 32, endorsed GM products including the Buick brand for the past 9 years, Pete Ternes, a spokesman for the Detroit- based automaker, said today. The golfer had been under contract through 2009.
“We began speaking with Woods earlier this year,” Ternes said in an interview. “He expressed an interest in growing his own Tiger brand and we have been looking for marketing savings.”
The announcement comes as GM seeks to cut marketing expenses by 20 percent in the U.S. A weakening U.S. economy that’s taken a toll on auto sales is prompting GM’s Chevrolet brand to “significantly” reduce spending on sports sponsorships, the company said last month.
Woods’s agent, Mark Steinberg, wouldn’t comment on the golfer’s future endorsements. “We’ve put together a plan, but it’s nothing that I’m going to discuss at this time,” Steinberg said in a telephone interview.
Not to worry, I'm sure Tiger will always return to Warwick Hills out of his love for the spending time studying Michigan's finest architecture.
Here's the early Golfweek take on the split.
Tiger wants to spend more time with his family...
GM And Tiger Woods Announce End To Endorsement Deal
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - General Motors and Tiger Woods announced today that they will conclude their endorsement deal effective December 31, 2008.
Both GM and Woods agreed to a mutual and amicable separation that included a desire for more personal time for the 14-time major winner who is expecting his second child in late winter as well as the search for budget efficiencies during a difficult economy for General Motors. For the past nine years, Woods has endorsed GM products around the world and has been heavily associated with the Buick brand in the US, Canada and China markets.
Mark LaNeve, General Motors North American Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing said, "Tiger has been a great friend to GM and a fantastic asset through the years helping to bring consumer awareness to many new GM products. In light of the news coming out of Washington," LaNeve added, "This decision is the result of discussions that started earlier in the year and the timing of this agreement with these other activities is purely coincidental."
News out of Washington? How about out of Detroit?
In a statement, Woods commented, "I am very proud of the long standing partnership I've had with GM and have enjoyed being a part of the company's dramatic product evolution. We've had a lot of fun together and I participated in some unique and rewarding activities. We've enjoyed a tremendous partnership over the years and we will maintain strong ties with the many people at GM we call friends."