PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Procter & Gamble Co. will not renew its endorsement deal with Tiger Woods at the end of the year, adding another name to the list of companies that cut ties with the golfer after last year's revelations of marital infidelities. The company used Woods, Roger Federer, Lionel Messi and dozens of other athletes as part of its three-year "Gillette Champions" marketing campaign.
Gillette said Thursday it was phasing out that program and not renewing the contract with Woods and several other athletes. It stopped using Woods himself in the campaign months ago. The golfer was once the most sought-after pitchman in sports and was the first athlete to earn $1 billion from endorsement agreements. However, many corporations cut ties or distanced themselves from Woods after the scandal that broke just over a year ago and dominated headlines for months.
Accenture LLP, AT&T Inc. and Gatorade all dropped Woods as an endorser. Companies such as Gillette and Tag Heuer didn't end their relationships outright but stopped featuring him in advertisements. Nike Inc. and Electronic Arts, which had more invested in his skills as a golfer rather than a more general symbol of excellence, stuck with him. Woods is trying to rebuild his golf reputation after his first year as a pro golfer without a tournament victory and losing his ranking as the top player in the world.
Gillette is also letting its contracts with other athletes, including soccer players such as Messi, Thierry Henry, and Kaka end as part of the conclusion of the marketing program. Gillette, however, was keeping some of the athletes - such as Federer, NHL star Alex Ovechkin and New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter - for new local marketing campaigns.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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