Can Tiger Woods Come Back?
By Marquis Codjia
After his über-publicized apology ceremony a few weeks ago, many sport commentators and golf enthusiasts over the world were wondering what Tiger Woods would do next.
The legendary golf champion seemed genuinely remorseful for the immense tort he’d wrought upon his family and vowed to do everything in his power to reconnect the “trust dots” with his loved ones.
Although Woods clearly avouched that the sport wasn’t his immediate priority and that his career would be put on hold for a certain period, it makes sense to speculate that the golfer would certainly resume competition sooner rather than later.
Understanding the dynamics, both external and internal, at work in Tiger Woods’ sport empire is crucial to corroborating such forecast.
First, the athlete possesses solid internal strengths stemming from his game and his family. He has a highly supportive mother, whose bonding grew even more intimate after her husband died a few years ago, and a loving (?) wife, Erin, who most likely will remain by her estranged husband once the sentimental pain dissipates.
Second, Woods is debatably the most popular athlete on earth. His popularity spans on and off golf courts since he’s also prominent in philanthropy via his foundation. Albeit his communication was deplorable at the onset of this conjugal melodrama, he has a solid organization to withstand the crisis.
Third, and most important, strength in Woods’ favor: us.
Fans constitute the biggest asset in the sportsman’s coffer. The public relishes offering a second chance to contrite celebrities who concede poor judgment and apologize for it. Cases vary from one individual to the other, but current and past headlines offer a plethora of stories involving politicians, religious leaders, sportsmen and other celebrities who regained prominence after an adulterous episode.
Fourth advantage to Woods: fellow golfers. Oddly, this group needs his quick comeback more than any other even if some rivals may secretly fancy his premature retirement to reach stardom. Some voiced outrage in the media after the infidelity surfaced back in December, but admittedly the industry as a whole has benefited tremendously from Woods’ clout.
Players can’t refute that Woods’ presence in the game has helped fatten their individual paychecks and endorsement deals owing to the increased audience the golf genius drew to a sport previously touted as elitist.
Last but not least, sponsors and major news outlets, especially visual media (TV and internet), stand to lose billions of dollars if the athlete pauses or halts his career. The golf industry has experienced a momentous sales growth in the last decade and no firm wants that manna to evaporate. This is especially true for key players such as Nike and Adidas, or small apparel dealers and internet portals devoted to the sport.
It becomes then pretty clear that external factors favor a Woods’ return but the question now remains whether he will use this difficult period to solidify his morale and come back or sink into oblivion. Wait and see!