BARRINGTON, IL (GlossyNews) –Tiger Woods has threatened to leave the United States if Gatorade’s decision makers do not bend over backward, swallow their pride and reinstate their sponsorship. Sources close to Woods confirmed that the troubled golfer will leave the country temporarily to give Gatorade time for reflection, or as Woods’ spokesperson told reporters, “to reconsider their future involvement with Tiger.” He said that should the sports drink manufacturer remain firm in its resolve to cut all financial ties with Woods, the golfer would extend indefinitely his hiatus abroad.
Woods, in a prepared statement to the press, said, “I have let my sponsors down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values or the behavior pertaining to my sponsorship. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with Nike and EA Sports, sponsors who have given me the support and understanding others have denied me. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.”
“But this does not give any of my sponsors the right to embarrass me in public. I am a well-known person and have built my career as a professional athlete, not a professional man whore,” he added.
PepsiCo, parent company of Gatorade, denied that the move had anything to do with Woods’ controversial November 27 car crash or confirmed affairs with ten women. In fact, the beverage giant denied ever ending its sponsorship with Mr. Woods.
“I was dismayed to realize the full extent of what little scrutiny the tabloids really…well, it doesn’t matter, we were just amazed to hear the gutter press say we dropped Tiger,” said Mary Doherty, director of communications at Gatorade, as she shuffled some papers on top of others.
“We decided several months ago to discontinue the Gatorade Tiger Focus drink, along with some other products, to make room for our planned 2010 series of beverage innovations. We hope to share more about those plans soon,” she further explained.
Woods’ spokesperson and close family members discounted Gatorade’s claims, reminding them that Accenture offered a strikingly similar story involving the “innovative products” excuse before severing ties with Woods.
Gatorade Marketing Director Hector Huerta backed up Doherty’s statement.
“Whatever regrets we have about letting Tiger Focus — one of our most profitable brands — go down have been shared with and felt by us alone. We’ve given this a lot of thought. I personally believe there’s a point where the company must stick to its principles, even if that requires making some tough decisions,” said Huerta
“For all your support over the years, Tiger, we offer our profound thanks and commitment to continue reducing electrolytes,” he added.
Quizzed by reporters on the rationale of reducing electrolyte levels in their future energy drinks, Huerta explained it was to make “better husbands and fathers of our customers, and of course future partners.”
Both Huerta and Doherty stressed to the media that Gatorade had not discontinued its support for Tiger Woods, just the eponymous drink.
“It’s purely a business decision,” said Doherty. “We’re losing money on this product. Our research clearly indicates that unless you’re a person of Orson Wellesian proportions, or just one who needs two seats on an aircraft, you probably won’t be breaking a sweat strolling through a park and knocking a tiny ball into a cup. So here’s an idea. If you’re thirsty, try dumping lemonade in ice tea.”