Tiger Woods’ PR Strategy Still Infuriating

Tiger Woods

Oh, how the media’s ticking! A long-awaited moment and the keyboards start to rumble, nervous fingers tap witty words in a flow of questions that will probably remain unanswered. Golf fans around the world will be reading the news incisively today and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. The public will be looking for those answers the media cannot give, because the target will not be as cooperative as we all hope.

Yes, Tiger Woods will break the silence tomorrow, in front of a single television camera at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. There will be only a lucky few golf writers present and the golfer has no plans to give answers. Quite the contrary.

Whether this is a PR strategy crafted by Mark Steinberg alone, we do not know. What’s pretty evident is that the strategy is infuriating. It can be called anything but smart.

“While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between he and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him,” said Steinberg in a statement. “He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends and that’s what he is going to discuss.”

It took a long time for Tiger to realize that he actually let down his fans, but he still doesn’t feel that he owns them an explanation. Apologies we heard before, or read before. So Tiger sticks to his convictions: “Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions.

Oh, the hypocrisy! The public was fine when the PR strategy imposed posing as a loving family father and faithful husband. Public confessions worked when they brought millions of dollars from various sponsors. Tiger didn’t mind strutting like a peacock when the world looked up to his godlike impeccable image. He didn’t mind becoming the role hero for so many children of African descendant or otherwise. But he minds the scrutiny and the questions when he screws up, and he still doesn’t get it. It was not the public causing the problems with the family. It was Tiger’s public sexual escapades that did, and it’s his perceived public image that actually drives the curiosity. I cannot explain this better than Kevin, a WSJ commenter:

I believe Mr. Woods makes a little money from endorsements. He presents himself as a spokesperson. All is then fair game. He is not someone that just plays golf. If he were, then fair enough, he deserves privacy away from the game. By presenting himself, at great financial gain, as one that endorses numerous products, he holds himself up to be scrutinized. That’s the deal. He chose to take it. Now if the cost becomes higher than he planned for, too bad.

Here is my prediction for tomorrow: Tiger’s statement/ apology will be no different than the one he made after the fact in December, the one that is still on his official site. Yes, there will be other words, different topic, and so on, but the essence will remain the same. I hope I am wrong, because if Tiger doesn’t come clean, this story will never end, and the ones that suffer the most will be Tiger’s family members, including his children.

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