Although terms of the agreement were not officially disclosed, Tiger’s recent $100 million deal with Gatorade seems likely to put him at—or near—the $1 billion mark for career endorsements. Think about that. Golf has made Woods the first billionaire in professional sports.
While as a free market economist, I understand intellectually the idea that Tiger should be able to charge whatever the market can bear, there’s a part of me wondering how our priorities got so out of whack. How in God’s name did a golfer come to be worth a billion dollars? In the end—foundations and charity not withstanding—golfers produce nothing of lasting value—not jobs, nor products that make people’s lives better or easier. I’ll toss golfers loosely into the same category as actors and junk bond dealers.
But maybe I’m underselling the actors. A movie star can, at least, provide jobs for thousands in the film industry by lending her star power to the selling of tickets.
But now I’m starting to sound like a socialist., and must remind myself that income is all a matter of supply and demand. Tiger can demand unlimited rents because there is only one Tiger. Business owners, doctors, nurses—and movie actors—in comparison, are a dime a dozen.
Still, I wonder what makes Gatorade think that Tiger is worth $100 million to their business. When I think Gatorade, I think sweat. And that’s not what I associate with golf. Sure, golfers get drenched when playing, but it’s not a good basketball or football effort sweat; it’s an “I’m standing around and it’s hot” sweat.
Mrs. Golfblogger says that I’m a natural skeptic, but even working hard to be optimistic, I can’t see this deal working for Gatorade. I frankly don’t know many golfers who chug sports performance beverages while playing. Mostly, they drink beer. Or water. And I can’t imagine anyone could think that drinking Tigerade will improve their game; it’s a big enough stretch to think that playing the same ball and clubs will help.
So Tiger must be adding something else to the Gatorade franchise. As it turns out, he’s picked out the flavors: cherry blend, citrus blend and grape. And, he apparently will be donating his sweat for analysis. Gatorade will figure out what he’s leaking through his pores, and replicate it in the drink. So golfers all over the world will be able to chug Tiger sweat.
Yuck. I’ll leave tasting his sweat to Elin.
But the striped one isn’t going to stop there. Apparently, other products in the offing:
“Gatorade has been part of my game plan for years, whether I’m training or competing, so this is an ideal match,” Woods said in a statement. “I’m eager to launch my first signature product in a few months and look forward to developing additional sports performance beverages with Gatorade in the coming years.”
How about a Tiger Woods Gatorade Popsicle so you can lick his sweat?