The Tiger Woods coming out party Monday afternoon was a drama in three acts:
ACT ONE: THE OPTICS
a) The moustache and goatee, designed to distance the new (good!) self from the old (bad!) self.
b) Five logos from the chest up, designed to denote sponsor support/confidence.
ACT TWO: THE MESSAGE
Going into this press conference, Woods knew exactly what he’d say. The real drama was in the questions – as in, how tough/uncomfortable would they be?
The denouement: Not very.
You could tell the tough ones, though: They were the questions Woods dodged.
Exhibit A: What kind of inpatient rehab did you undergo? (That’s personal.)
Exhibit B: Your wife Elin has taken a powder. Shouldn’t you be working on your family relationships instead of playing golf? (I’m excited to play this week.)
Exhibit C: Were you under the influence of Ambien during your car crash? (The police investigated – cited me 166 bucks – closed case.)
Okay. Closed case. I guess.
ACT THREE: THE SPIN
In the immediate aftermath:
“Life Is ‘Fun’ Again” (with picture of Woods)
The presser was as important for the PGA as it was for Woods. From Jonathan Mahler’s recent New York Times Magazine piece:
As far as professional golf is concerned, Woods cannot come back fast enough. The PGA Tour is at a critical juncture. Next year it will begin negotiating new TV contracts with CBS and NBC. In the meantime, the tour is trying to secure sponsors for 10 events in 2011 while economic conditions are not exactly favorable. Two of the hardest-hit industries, financial services and car manufacturing, are responsible for underwriting a third of the PGA Tour’s sponsored events. More to the point, the entire economic model of a golf tournament is looking a bit suspect. At the moment, the value of a company’s flying clients and employees to a sunny locale to drink Grey Goose cocktails and get tips on their short games from professional golfers is most likely to be lost on many of its shareholders. In other words, drumming up new sponsors and increasing — or just maintaining, really — the worth of its TV deals would have been hard enough for the tour even if the world’s greatest golfer and most recognizable athlete had not become enmeshed in the biggest tabloid story in years.
Inconveniently, he has.
Your Woods-shed recomendations go here.