Hero MotoCorp, the largest selling bike company in India, penned down a four-year endorsement deal with ace golfer Tiger Woods said to be worth Rs 250 crores. The amount involved is the highest deal ever forked out by an Indian Company for a sports personality. As per the terms of the deal, Tiger Woods would be partnering & promoting the Indian brand all over the world.
Pawan Munjal, vice-chairman of the Hero group, when asked whether they had gone overboard in paying such a hefty amount for a champion in his twilight years, said, “Tiger is not just a golfing champion, he is an icon for millions around the world, he is a phenomenon. His appeal and charisma spans continents cutting through barriers of geography, age, language and nationality.”
He continued, “These spends are not for today, but are investments made for the future. We aim to make Hero a global brand and want to be present in as many as 50 countries by 2020.”
Hero group has been on a spree lately, when it comes to sponsoring sports properties and personalities. Their association with sports is nothing new as they have backed a variety of sports like cricket, football, and hockey.Their tie-up with golf goes way back to 2005 when they promoted the prestigious Indian Open Golf Tournament. Such a deal was not unimaginable as Munjal himself is an avid golfer. However, the moot point is whether Tiger Woods, a champion in decline, deserves the said price.
Tiger Woods’ image has taken a severe hit in recent years
Tiger Woods, a winner of 14 major golf championships, once held the number 1 position for 281 weeks from 2005-2010. Indubitably, he has been a well-known golfing figure all around the world. However, he has not achieved much in the last decade since his early morning bust-up with wife, Elin Nordegren led to a series of impugning revelations of infidelity. He divulged that he cheated on his wife with several women for many years. The outlet of the scandal led to a dozen of women claiming to have had an affair with him.
Since then life has not been hunky-dory for him. His form along with his image have taken a downward slide. Every athlete in sports is respected for their on-field brilliance only if it complements their off-field demeanors. Be it Roger Federer or Sachin Tendulkar, an athlete is judged not only for their athletic prowess but also for their modesty and bridled lifestyle. Woods, due to his alleged dalliances, has lost the respect and loyalty of his fans.
Other big sponsors dropped Tiger Woods from their campaigns
Once the world’s most marketable athlete, Tiger Woods’ sexual indiscretions led Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade and General Motors to drop him immediately as their brand ambassador. Gillette and TAG Heuer effectively put off their advertisements featuring Tiger Woods. Accenture declared that Woods was no longer the right representative for the company.
Although Nike stuck with him for a while just because their whole golf project revolved around him.They had spent millions on him and could not afford to lose him.Such was the impact of Tiger’s transgressions that loss to shareholders and fall in the collective market value of the firm was pegged around 5$billion to 10$billion.
With only a few endorsements currently in his bag, Woods overall market worth is not the same as it was. Evaluating these facts it seems plausible to think that Hero has overpaid for the services of the golfer.
Injuries have affected his form
Golf may seem to be a sport which does not require high fitness levels and is misjudged as a leisure game just for enjoyment and passing time. However, golf as a professional sport requires supreme physicality and mental toughness. Tiger Woods, in his prime was the fittest of all the golfers and his 14 major championship wins are a testament to that.
In recent years, though, his injuries have impacted his form and overall game. His niggling leg problem, elbow injury and back pain have aggravated which in turn has led to his dismal performances. If his fitness troubles persist, it would be hard for him to compete at the top-level in the coming years.
Currently ranked 24, he once fell to an all-time low of 58 in 2011. He has not won any major championships for the last few years and his game looks rusty and jaded.
Tiger woods is surely a champion in wane and the price paid for his services is extremely exorbitant. The amount paid to him would have fetched any top sports star in his prime and would have helped Hero spread its brand name.