Issue No. 260: The Tiger Effect

Photo: Andrew Haynes, Gear Patrol

Media and eCommerce. Tiger Woods’ effects on media and commerce are astonishing to consider. When it comes to professional golf, he doesn’t just move the needle – he is the needle. In 2018, if you happen to watch Woods in contention on a Sunday afternoon, it’s a major event in media, branding, and eCommerce. Here is a focused look at what that means.

(1) Retailers will capitalize on merchandising.

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Nike’s golf division had all but forgotten about Tiger before his return, earlier in 2018. Jason Day had top billing and Tiger Woods was present on the Nike Golf homepage for contractual reasons. That changed, this weekend. The Tiger Woods store front on was the tenth most viewed page. The SKU’s of the Sunday red collarless polo were of the Nike Golf brand’s best selling product over the final few days of the four round tournament.

JM on Twitter

@nikegolf what shoes are Tiger wearing? thanks

John Haley on Twitter

@nikegolf where can I buy the @TigerWoods Nike range ? The shirt he’s wearing today is superb👉

John Haley on Twitter

@nikegolf where can I buy the @TigerWoods Nike range ? The shirt he’s wearing today is superb👉

Much like team Nike, the merchandising team at the 2018 Valspar Championship was not fazed by the Tiger Woods buzz surrounding the tournament. Given that last year’s winner was not exactly a household name, the team coordinated with Nike once they were notified that Woods, Spieth, and McIlroy were to make appearances. It’s reported that the tournament saw a 400+% jump in on-ground merchandise sales on the ground.

But look no further than Barstool Sports’ content and commerce maneuver after yesterday’s event. In what can be considered as nothing more than SEO bait, they published this excerpt and a link to their Woods-inspired tees that paid homage to his Sunday red-look and his confirmed appearance at the upcoming Masters.

There’s nothing like Tiger Woods being in contention at a golf tournament on a Sunday. Everybody tunes in. That’s why the Valspar smashed its attendance records all week. That’s why the text chain you have with your buddies was full of Tiger talk. That’s why Twitter was on fire as everyone tuned into see what was gonna happen. It was the Valspar ant people were going nuts. People have said it before but Tiger doesn’t move the need in golf. He is the needle. He transcends. He proves it time and time and time again. Doesn’t matter if you love or hate him. You wanna see what he does.

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Barstool Sports

(2) Broadcasters will be thankful for him.

Let’s be honest, Woods has been through one heck of a ringer. His reemergence from the depths of public humiliation has been generally welcomed by fans and consumers. “He’s a completely different person,” said Notah Begay III, a longtime Woods confidant. “He’s gone through public humiliation. He’s gone through personal challenges. He’s gone through physical injury. He’s gone through technical problems in all parts of his game. He’s risen above it all.” Per the @GolfChannelPR account on Twitter, final round coverage on NBC was +28% vs. the final round of 2015 Wyndham (4.0), the last time Woods contended on a Sunday. Yesterday’s broadcast was +73% vs final round of The Honda Classic a few weeks ago.

Also, it was the highest-rated (non-major) PGA TOUR broadcast since the 2013 Players Championship (5.7). The final round on Sunday washe t highest-rated golf broadcast (outside of the Masters) since 2015’s PGA Championship (5.14). A Tiger Woods in contention is lightning in a bottle.

(3) Twitter will project Woods’ wide appeal.

In this small sample, you have: golf’s greatest player, a perennial All-Pro football player, a Women’s PGA Tour legend, one of the top 50 NBA players of all time, and a woman who’d be on American skiing’s Mount Rushmore.

Jack Nicklaus on Twitter

40 the new 20-something?! Phil Mickelson, 47, ends drought of 4+ yrs & now well done, hearty congrats @Paul_Casey, 40, on 1st @PGATOUR win since 2009. Fantastic 65 w/ just 21 putts at @ValsparChamp! And well done @TigerWoods! You’re getting there my friend. Sure it won’t be long!

JJ Watt on Twitter

Has any one athlete ever moved the needle for an entire sport like Tiger for golf?! Maybe MJ, Serena… idk. Man that’s crazy.

Michelle Wie on Twitter

Let’s goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 🐯!!! @TigerWoods

Scottie Pippen on Twitter

@TigerWoods from deep! What a putt. So great to see him competing like this on a Sunday.

lindsey vonn on Twitter

Let’s go T!!!

(4) Sponsoring brands will have the week of their lives.

The tournament was founded in 2000 as the Tampa Bay Classic and in its eighteen years, no title sponsorship has shaped up to be as effective as Valspar Corporation’s 2018. Signed in 2013 and extending through 2020, the championship event is seeing more search traffic than it ever has. This, on the heels of the most material evidence of Wood’s comeback in five years. Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 10.25.24 PM

(5) His performance inflates ticket prices.

The Masters’ odds are changing by the day and the better Woods’ odds, the more expensive the ticket prices in Augusta. Tiger Woods is the now the third favorite to win The Masters at 10-1. He is ranked 388th in the world. The betting market’s irrational hope for a Woods return has led to an absolutely insane secondary market for tickets in Augusta. And this is a boon to IBM (the title sponsor) and the broadcast partners: CBS and ESPN.

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In the last few years, we’ve learned how the sports world reacts to various degrees of Tiger runs. A nice drive at a random tournament in the Bahamas in the winter gets a roar, a second place at the Valspar gets an explosion. If Woods ever competes on Sunday at a major, let alone Augusta, the entire country will look like post–Super Bowl Philadelphia.

Maybe that will never happen, but what we learned on Sunday is that anything could happen. And that’s all that’s needed right now.

Kevin Clark, The Ringer

Tiger Woods, at peak performance, is unlike any phenomenon in sports. His performance can reflect an immediate spike across all areas of 2PM’s coverage: brand, media, eCommerce, data. If by chance his Masters performance is anything similar to this weekend, you can expect a revision to this article.

Read more of the issue here.

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