On Monday it was announced that EA Sports would end its 15 year long relationship with Tiger Woods. Not only had the relationship spanned for 15 years, it was a relationship that brought in $771 million dollars for Woods over the span of that contract. “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” was named after Woods, and has been one of the most popular golfing games ever produced by EA sports, or any other video game manufacturer.
So, what exactly does the end of this extensive contract mean? Basically, it ends all ties with Woods and the company that he has had his longest endorsement and contract with. Woods will no longer be on the cover of the video game, his name is no longer associated with the game, and he is no longer going to be a player option in the game. Players unions do require video game developers to have professional athletes in their games, but individual athletes do have the option to remove their name from a game series, and this seems to have been what happened in this deal.
Although both sides claimed it was a mutual split, links to Tiger’s extramarital affairs are speculated to be a part of the reason EA is pulling away. In 2008, nearly 3.3 million copies of the game were sold; to date in 2013, only 300,000 units have been sold. He has lost major deals with Tag Hauer, Gatorade, Buick, and other companies; only Nike has stuck by him. Now, with the loss of his 15 year deal with EA, comes the end of a run for the video game developer, but also an end to nearly $500 million which Woods has earned over the years.
Woods’ agent claims he is in current negotiations with another video game manufacturer, but no news has been released as of yet. Either way, it is a big endorsement loss, and a loss of nearly $50 million a year in profits for Woods as well.
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