At least one of Tiger Woods’ sponsors, Electronic Arts, is moving full-steam ahead on a project involving the world’s No.1 golfer.
EA Sports has confirmed its will release a new version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour for consoles in June. The Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 game is scheduled to be released for use on Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and iPhone.
While other sponsors, like AT&T, General Motors, Accenture and Gatorade, have dumped Woods since his sex scandal became public after a Nov. 27 accident with his Cadillac Esplanade out side his suburban Orlando, Fla., home. GM recently said it was not allowing Woods use of courtesy vehicles. Buick dropped Woods as a sponsor before the accident, partly because of the American carmaker’s recovery from bankruptcy.
EA Sports President Peter Moore said earlier this month his company would continue its partnership with the embattled golfer. Moore was interviewed by Game Hunters, an Internet blog by USA Today about gamers.
Asked about what being linked to Woods and the controversy that has hounded the golfer for nearly two months, Moore said: “We have been with Tiger or Tiger has been with us since 1999 when we started off on the PC and (the game) has, of course, evolved over the more recent years on the consoles and now is in a very, very strong place on the Wii particularly with what we did last year with the MotionPlus. Tiger the golfer is who we work with almost every day and continue to, although obviously he is on a little bit of an indefinite leave right now and we haven’t had a lot of interaction with him. But Tiger the golfer is what this is all about and we recognize some of the personal challenges he is having right now because he is very important to us … We stand by him for everything he has done to build our franchise. And this latest announcement both of the new console games, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, which we announced in conjunction with our open beta of Tiger Woods Online, which is a strategic imperative for the company not just EA Sports — it all comes under the brand of Tiger Woods and we continue to stand by him as the world’s greatest golfer.”
Moore admitted EA Sports considered options not involving Woods with their product.
“We always have options, whether it is Tiger or whatever goes on in the world of sports,” Moore added. “We’ve seen in recent years how precarious endorsements tend to be. But there is nothing that we have seen that traversed since Thanksgiving and the unfortunate incident there that made us second-guess his role as an endorser of an authentic golf game. Yes, we would always have some options like any company you would imagine, we would always have some fallbacks or Plan B. But we have not in any way seriously considered doing anything but calling this Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.”