Tiger Woods’ approval rating may sink even lower than its current 40%, once stock and mutual fund investors in companies he endorses realize they have lost $12 billion since his extramarital scandal broke, according to estimates by researchers at the University of California, Davis.
The study looked at the market value of eight Woods-endorsed companies between Nov. 27, the date of the car crash that set off the international brouhaha, and Dec. 17, a week after golf great announced an indefinite leave from the sport. The figures compare the companies’ returns with competitors and the overall market: Accenture, AT&T, Electronic Arts for the Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, Proctor and Gamble for Gillette, Nike, PepsiCo, maker of Gatorade, TLC Laser Eye Centers and Conde Nast, publisher of Golf Digest.
While the media focus has been on the hit to Woods’ own net worth, “total shareholder losses may exceed several decades’ worth of Tiger Woods’ personal endorsement income,” said Victor Stango, an economics professor and co-author of the study. “This pattern of losses is unlikely to stem from ordinary day-to-day variation in their stock prices.”
“While having a celebrity of Tiger Woods’ stature as an endorser has undeniable upside, the downside risk is substantial, too,” added Victor Stango, also a Davis economics professor and the other author of the report.