If Tiger’s domination of Aaron Baddeley in the Presidents Cup Sunday singles wasn’t enough to convince you that he’s back on track, maybe the fact that he’s inked two endorsement deals in the last six weeks will do the trick. His agreement with Rolex, which Tiger’s agent at Excel Sports Management, Mark Steinberg, suggested was the first of several endorsements to come, is significant in that it clearly illustrates that major global brands are more than ready to do business with the former No. 1 player in the world. Woods’s newest deal with Fuse Science, a Florida-based nutrition company, further extends Tiger’s reach to a new product category and will surely inspire more confidence in Tiger’s endorse-ability.
“This company is laying the foundation for some very significant things,” Woods said in a phone interview Monday with USA TODAY. “The more homework I did the more I was amazed with the technology that is not only applicable for me in what I do, it’s applicable for everyone. And how easy it is to use — that’s where it really is ground-breaking. The technology is phenomenal. Some people don’t like to take pills. Now you can just put a drop under your tongue. It’s that easy. And it really does get into your system in 90 seconds. It’s something you need so you don’t get dehydrated on the golf course, especially when you’re out in the sun all day long.”
Tiger will sport the Fuse Science logo on his golf bag beginning at the Chevron World Challenge next month. Steinberg told Golf.com that there have been several opportunities to place corporate sponsorship on Tiger’s bag recently but none “felt right.” Tiger’s confidence in the Fuse technology is such that Steinberg says he would have been interested in signing a deal with the company at any time in his career, even during his days with AT&T, Gillette and Gatorade.
“We did a lot of due diligence on the Fuse technology, and it could legitimately change the way people injest medicine and vitamins in the future,” Steinberg said. “It could be revolutionary. They have an unbelievable group of executives and we’re extremely impressed with the company.”
As Tiger’s game continues to round into form heading into his own tournament, don’t be surprised if more good results on and off the course continue to come El Tigre’s way. Tiger returning to the top of the world rankings wouldn’t just be good for him it would be good for TV ratings, corporate sponsorships and the game of golf in general. Norman hopes Presidents Cup performance puts Tiger back on top The bit of tit for tat between Greg Norman and Tiger Woods over the Presidents Cup has been well-documented. Norman criticizes Fred Couples for picking Tiger instead of Keegan Bradley. Then Tiger closes out the Presidents Cup and says something to the effect of, “Greg probably wishes he kept his mouth shut.” Regardless, Norman knows as well as anyone how important Tiger is to the game of golf and said so in a recent interview.
“Tiger’s Tiger — he stepped up the plate,” Norman said. “I said to him, ‘You need golf as much as golf needs you.’ We all want to see him up there. Any player hates to see a great player struggle.
“We all know what it’s like to go through the ins and outs of the game,” he explained. “You want to see the player who dominated the game come back so that when you beat him you feel like you beat him at the top of his game.”
Fred Couples, who was initially stung a bit by Norman’s criticism, has clearly gotten over it in Freddy-like fashion.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever felt vindicated in golf in 30 years, but I feel like I know what I’m doing,” he said. “There’s a reason I picked Tiger early. He worked hard and when a guy says ‘Don’t worry about me’ you are going to smile. I got frustrated a bit because I felt I was picking the greatest player I’ve ever seen play.”