Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
Well, it certainly didn’t take long, but there is already a betting pool accepting wagers if Tiger Woods will retire in 2016. The current odds from Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power as of this writing are 7-2.
Personally, I think he will play a few events, see that he cannot compete realistically and then announce he has more back issues and retire. But don’t cry for him he’s still has more than $800,000 in the bank and after designing a few more courses, doing an occasional pay-for-play event, he’ll crack the billionaires club easily.
Maybe he’ll take a run at the Senior Tour.
There is a reason why so many people want Tiger Woods back on the Tour and it has little to do with his golfing abilities, or his smile, or even his airplane which he occasionally gives other pros free rides on.
It all comes down to his name and the ability to draw money. That is the bottom line and the only line as far as anyone is concerned. This whole thing is about marketing events.
Do you think other professionals would look forward to a healthy Tiger Woods coming back to kick their collective asses all over the place if it didn’t mean more money for them when finishing second place, or even fiftieth?
When Tiger Woods is in an event, the amount of interest skyrockets. TV viewership and ticket sales could increase by 30-40 per cent. The prize money can increase and everyone is happier.
In the world of sports, they call someone like Tiger Woods a “Franchise player”. In other sports this means someone they can build their team around. In golf, this means someone they can build their sponsorship and marketing plan around.
This person’s main purpose is to “put an ass every 18 inches” (18-inches is the average width of a stadium seat). Granted, in golf there are few stadium seats and most people bring their own collapsible chairs, but the theory remains the same.
Tiger Woods generates money for the Tour, the venues, the sponsors, the writers and the players.
There are scores of golf writers who owe their bank accounts to Tiger Woods because he made their jobs so much easier. All they had to do is write something, anything, about Tiger Woods and it guaranteed them a paycheck. They really didn’t even have to think too deeply. Heck, it didn’t even have to be fact checked or verified. Just writing a generic piece saying something such as “Tiger Woods might come back” and inside the piece there is no concrete information, just loads of fluff.
Also, “Tiger Woods” is easier to spell than Lodewicus Theodorus "Louis" Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 Open Championship and was runner-up in the 2012 Masters and 2015 US Open.
Retief Goosen and Jordan Spieth are two names that constantly have writers questioning the “I before E except after C” rule because it involves a proper name. They also have to turn off “Spell Check”.This slows down writers who get paid by the article and need to generate more to make a decent living.
In the heyday of Tiger’s career, most of the players on the US Tour resigned themselves to playing for second place and hoping Tiger would get stung by bees so they could slip in for a win.
Then Tiger was gone and Rory McIlroy was supposed to carry the Tour on his shoulders, except he couldn’t. He either wasn’t ready, or he wasn’t the one. Jordan Spieth was then anointed, but he too failed to generate massive ticket and advertisement sales.
Purses started to shrink and some big sponsors started reconsidering their involvement with tournament golf. The return on investment just wasn’t there any longer. There was no pizzazz in the game. Tiger was gone, John Daly was gone and Bubba Watson, while entertaining, just wasn’t enough to put an ass every 18 inches, even with his HoverCart.
The professional tour needed Tiger Woods back, even if he didn’t win, he would still generate buzz and excitement.
Heck, everyone is holding their breath to see what new equipment Tiger will use after NIKE folded up its tent and went home.
The genius of Tiger has never been solely his playing, but his amazing marketability.-VNS