Who would have known that the 2-year old boy in khaki shorts and red baseball cap who appeared in 1978 in The Mike Douglas Show, after 30 long years, would indeed become one of the most amazing athletes mankind has ever known?>
Tiger Woods is now 32 years old and has been golf’s World No. 1 for a decade. Based on a survey, TV ratings of golf tournaments increase by 33% or more when he is competing in it. It has also been observed by analysts that his opponents play better when pitted against him than not. “Tiger Woods” is said to be synonymous with the word “golf” itself that there can be no golf without Tiger.
Most Profitable Athlete
Being the top in his sports, Tiger has earned his spot not only as the highest paid golfer but also the highest paid professional athlete of his time. Since he began his professional career in 1996, Tiger has already earned $76,579,376 from his PGA TOUR career and $94,038,162 worldwide. Said amounts, however, only compromise roughly 10% of his entire earnings. In 2007 alone, he earned almost $128 million and only $22.9 of that came from golfing.
Forbes magazine has ranked him as the second biggest earning celebrity for 2007 next to Oprah Winfrey and the highest paid athlete of 2007, earning twice more what second-placer David Beckham was paid for that year.
Just like any other athlete, the bulk of Tiger’s earnings come from endorsements. The difference between him and the others is that he is the world’s most marketable athlete. Tiger is the sports marketing dream because of his influence and command of the market and for this, companies swoon over him. Since he turned pro, he has already banked $750 million solely for endorsements. Forbes predicted that in 2011, the golfer will become the first athlete to reach a billion dollars by winnings and endorsement alone. It even stressed that if billionaires like Bill Gates earned their massive wealth through holding shares in exceedingly profitable corporations, Woods would become a billionaire by receiving paychecks for playing golf.
Among the companies that make Tiger the richest sportsman are Accenture, Buick, EA Sports, Gatorade, Gillette, Net Jets, Nike Golf, PGA Tour and Tag Heuer among others. In fact, several products of these sponsors have been inspired by him such as Nike Golf, Gatorade Tiger, TAG Heuer Professional Golf Watch (the first professional golf watch) and Gillette Champions.
His biggest paycheck for an endorsement was in 2000 when he renewed his contract for another 5 years with Nike for a whooping $100 million. And not only that, the contact allows him 3% marketing outlaying for that period.
Investments and Charity
One of the most expensive properties Tiger has purchased is a 4-hectare waterfront estate in Jupiter Island, Florida, worth a gigantic $53 million, which he intended to become the location of his home. Unlike other athletes, however, who splurge on luxury for now and be bankrupt tomorrow, Tiger is different. Other becoming a regular columnist for the Golf Digest, Tiger has also initiated charitable programs. He has established several charitable organizations and annual fundraisers since he turned pro in 1996, intended mostly for the benefit of disadvantaged youth.
One of Tiger’s major plans is golf course designing and has in fact incorporated Tiger Woods Design. His pet project as of the moment, which involves real estate development, is called The Tiger Woods Dubai, which will soon rise in 2009 in 564 acres of desert land in the Dubailand project in U.A.E. The property, which is in partnership with government-owned Tatweer will include 20 mansions, 300 villas, 80 suites and its highlight – an 18-hole championship golf course to be called Al-Ruwaya, to be designed by Tiger, together with a golf clubhouse and academy.
From being a child prodigy to becoming the pro with the perfect swing, Tiger Woods is becoming a brand to reckon with. He has surpassed not only the achievements but also the market power of any other athlete in the world. Truly, he is a show in himself to be watched out for not only as golf’s World No. 1 but also as the next billion-dollar man in the making.