While a thunderous clap of high fives emanates from PepsiCo's Chicago HQ for Gatorade, there had been conspicuous silence at the mission control centers of Nike, Gillette, Electronic Arts, NetJets, Tag Heuer, AT&T, Accenture and laser-eye surgery chain TLC Vision as legions of former (and perhaps not so former) Tiger Woods' paramours surface around the globe.
"It's kind of like watching the progress of swine flu," says noted medical expert, marketing writer and admirer of busty women, John Gaffney. "One wonders if there will be enough vaccine for all of the sponsors." While $100 million in annual endorsements hold their collective breath, GM -- desperate to be able to again afford a celebrity spokesman -- has picked up Woods (for a reported $279 and a replacement vehicle) to promote Cadillac Escalade, the monster truck he was driving on the night in question.
"It is a natural fit for us," said one GM official who asked not to be identified because someone might write about his salary level or annual bonus and get the feds all up in his business. "I doubt there is a person on the planet who doesn't know that Tiger drives our humongous car now."
Struggling with a appropriate positioning for the $62,495 ($81,625 as shown) vehicle that the company says with a straight face gets 10 mpg in the city and 15 on the highway, the marketing mavens in Detroit are focused for the moment on safety.
"When the final facts are made public that virtually all of Tiger's wounds were inflicted by his long-suffering spouse, I think we can promote the notion that Tiger could have walked away from this horrendous accident thanks to the standard safety features built into our 7,300-lb mammoth," says a mid-tier marketing minion who asked not to be identified, since he is the only person in his neighborhood still working and he doesn't want his lawn crèche defaced (again).
Asked why hitting a fire plug is considered a horrendous accident, the source asked back: "Had any body work done on your car by a dealer in the past couple of years? You'd have to take out a home equity loan to pay for it; but since you can't get one of those either, let's just say it wipes out your entire college freshman year savings."
A spokeswomen for IMG declined to comment on the arrangement between Cadillac and Woods, but said off the record: "This could be a golden opportunity for businesses with limited marketing budgets like bodegas or leaf blowers or dog walkers to have the world's most famous golfer endorse their products or services. We are listening to pretty much any serious offer."
The agreement says that Tiger may decline to appear in commercial messages until which time "the fallout from my dalliances has subsided."
"We think we'll be ready for the 2017 model season," said the minion.