Wednesday 9 December 2009

Tiger's human after all!

It's almost impossible to avoid Tiger Woods stories at the moment. Everyday there's another revelation about his private life, another alleged mistress comes out of the woodwork. It's amazing that someone who previously had an image of being so boringly perfect and inoffensive has been leading such a colourful private life!

Since the story broke, I've been following the story mainly through the celebrity website TMZ. They seriously know their stuff, and what ever stories they run, seem to get picked up by the rest of the media.

I've never been a Tiger Woods fan. Not because I have anything against him personally. It's more to the fact that I can't stand golf!

I find the game totally boring, there's nothing about it that appeals to me. Following on from that, I've never found Tiger Woods remotely interesting either. If anything I've always found his public persona to be bland, middle of the road and boringly apolitical.

You might think that as the greatest player to have played the game, as well as being the first, and so far only black superstar in what's essentially a white middle class sport, he might have held some appeal to me.

Far from it. I still have no interest in the sport or him as a person!

The thing is, nobody really knows who Tiger Woods is. That's how I feel anyway. He's always come across as some marketing man's dream. The great golfer, who also happens to be black, who's so clean cut and upstanding. Yet behind that manufactured image he was really just some 'preppy fratboy'

I read a great piece on Woods today, by the media journalist Roy Greenslade in the London Evening Standard. He made a really good point about how Woods and other celebrities in such times of crisis always call for the media to respect their privacy.

In Wood's case he's made millions of dollars in endorsements and advertising contracts by promoting and marketing himself as this supposedly perfect, clean cut, no scandals sports star. This is his 'brand' which he's been partly responsible for in creating.

Greenslade's point is that he's traded and profited on his fame and persona, the fact that his personal misbehaviour has now compromised this image, means he can't have too many complaints about media intrusion.

In time this whole episode may do him some good. All that's happened is that we now know he's just like everyone else and isn't so perfect. I'm sure he and his marketing team will be thinking up some new strategy on how he can emerge from this setback, with his brand still in tact.

He might suddenly start appearing on talk shows giving interviews, presenting himself as now an ordinary guy like the rest of us who makes mistakes! I should be some celebrity PR guru myself!

Despite his current problems his sporting achievements will always outweigh anything else he does. All he's done is show he's just another sportsman who likes to sleep around. He's not the first and won't be the last.

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