Monday, December 14, 2009

The Reason Accenture Left Tiger

It is no surprise that Accenture, among his many sponsors, has decided to part ways with Tiger Woods—unlike AT&T, PepsiCo and Nike, which are still hanging on.

In my blog dated December 3, 2009, “Tiger’s Transgressions: Are They Really a ’Private Matter’?”, I noted that Tiger’s “reputation and advertising revenues, by and large, should remain intact.” However, that blog was written before the revelation regarding multiple affairs (plus serious issues surrounding his home life) came out. Possibly, other sponsor relationships will unravel if the flow of seamy details continues.

Accenture is the first major one to go (minus Gillette, which put the relationship on hold), largely because the global consulting firm’s ad campaign was centered on its research, analytics, strategy and precision. Accenture advertising says, “It’s what we call performance anatomy, and it’s one key finding from our groundbreaking research into the world’s most successful companies.” The image includes a graph line which denotes attitude as 50% and aptitude as 50%. Tiger’s strategic skills — indeed, his entire persona — have been indicted by his actions. Thus, the ad theme, “Go on. Be a Tiger.” is no longer valid. If you take the total picture into account, he no longer represents even Accenture’s tagline, “High performance. Delivered.”

As The New York Times notes in its article on Monday, December 14th in the Business Day section, “Big Risk in a One-Man Brand Like Tiger Woods,” that is indeed true. Nevertheless, Accenture has gotten great mileage out of its Tiger Woods campaign, which has gone on for years. Despite the risk, one-man or one-woman brands will continue to be a strategy that will be applied by companies in the future. Nevertheless, there will likely be a momentary pause.

Technorati Tags: Tiger Woods, crisis, communications,Accenture, The New York Times , communications, public relations, Makovsky

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