By Charlotte Young
After spending two years in the dreaded untouchable category, corporate America is finally starting to warm up to Tiger Woods again. According to Wall Street Journal, Woods just signed an endorsement deal with high class watchmaker Rolex.
The prominent golfer saw his marriage and public image fall apart after a highly publicized infidelity scandal in 2009. Woods took an indefinite leave from golf after he was forced to admit to multiple infidelities with more than a dozen women. During the ordeal his marriage wasn’t the only thing to suffer; his endorsement career took a hit as well. Woods was dropped by several major companies such as AT&T, Gillette and Accenture.
Woods was considered the 11th most effective spokesperson for product sales, right alongside Bill Cosby before the scandal. Davie-Brown Entertainment reported that the scandal dropped him all the way down to the 2,775th spot, right next to the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Given the past, experts were surprised that Woods was able to bounce back with Rolex. In addition Woods hasn’t even won an event in nearly two years and wasn’t recorded among the top 50 golfers for the first time since 1996.
But Rolex told the Wall Street Journal that they believe Woods has “has a long career ahead of him and that he has all the qualities required to continue to mark the history of golf.”
Woods has had a long standing relationship with Rolex. He worked to promote Rolex’s Tudor watch for almost five years before dropping the company and siding up to its rival Tag Heuer in 2002. Tag Heuer paid Woods about $2 million annually for three years and even stood by him after the scandal. Tag Heuer decided to drop Woods several months ago.
While Mark Steinburg, Wood’s agent wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the deal with Rolex, he did disclose that Woods wasn’t coming back into the endorsement game with a considerably lower pay. Steinburg told the Wall Street Journal that he felt “confident and bullish on his marketability.”
Woods didn’t make it to professional golf’s last season playoff, the Tour Championship, but he is scheduled to play this week in the Frys.com Open. Reports say he plans to use this opportunity to try out his newly developed golf swing.