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Tiger Woods ‘Failing’ in Media Blitz, Image Experts Say

By Michael McCarthy, USA Today

Nov 18, 2010

Now we can follow Tiger Woods on Twitter, find him on Facebook and check out his new “official” website.

But we still don’t have the answers from Woods that could begin to repair the damage to his reputation that started with an SUV crash at the end of his driveway nearly a year ago, image experts said Thursday.

“We’re interested,” said Mike Paul of MGP & Associates PR, “but we’re not getting the facts that we want.”

Woods is making a “preemptive strike” to get ahead of negative news media coverage surrounding the one-year anniversary of the day-after-Thanksgiving crash that ignited a scandal over his extramarital affairs.

Paul’s verdict: It’s “failing miserably.”

Anne Rivers of BrandAsset Consulting agreed, saying Woods is seen as the most “arrogant” sports brand among consumers, ahead of the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Heat.

An interview Thursday with ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golicand a first-person essay for Newsweek are not enough, Paul said. Woods still “absurdly” refuses to discuss details of the crash and its aftermath.

Since the crash, Woods has been winless, divorced by Elin Nordegren and dropped by corporate sponsors Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture.

“He’s caused a lot of trauma in his own life,” Paul said. “But he’s also gone through a lot of trauma. The way you deal with that trauma is turn golf into football and go through the end zone. He’s settling for the short passes and leaving a lot of stuff on the table.”

On the other hand, communications consultant Kevin Sullivan, a former White House communications director, said Woods is “smart to stay in circulation. Sports fans are forgiving and love a comeback story — as long as the athlete takes responsibility for his actions.”

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