Nike’s New Tiger Woods and Earl Woods Ad Is just Creepy

Nike released a new ad featuring Tiger Woods and the voice of his late father, Earl Woods. It might be just me but I don’t know exactly what the point of this is or what it does for the company. Here’s the a video of the new Nike Tiger Woods ad featuring his father Earl Woods:

Um, OK so is Nike trying to remind people about Tigers’ “indiscretions”? If I were them I would think that I would want to move past it and make people focus on the here and now rather than the drama of a few months ago. I also find it really creepy that they are using his late father’s voice for this ad. Earl Woods died in 2006 and this ad has got some eerie “beyond the grave” type feel to it and it just really gives me a chill in my spine when I watch.

So with Tiger officially carrying the Nike torch, I wonder what their next move will be after this creepy campaign. Maybe they’ll be changing their slogan from “Just do it” to “Keep it in your pants.”

Tiger Woods’ Buddhist Bracelet the New Livestrong Band?

Tiger Woods spent 600 seconds Sunday taping interviews. Though each interviewer was afforded limited time, they each tried to ask Tiger some of the questions many of us wanted to have answered. I thought Tom Rinaldi was more direct and stepped in more frequently to keep Tiger on the path and that he caught Tiger in an unprepared moment — one where Tiger admitted he wanted people to cheer for him. Kelly Tilghman of The Golf Channel asked many similar questions and received many similar, scripted answers. The difference to me was that she didn’t follow up as well as Rinaldi, and she also threw out there the biggest softball question of all: Tilghman asked Tiger about a certain bracelet on his wrist. Tiger seized the opportunity to emphasize how he had found religion. In his case, Buddha. Here’s a picture of Tiger Woods’ Buddhist bracelet:

Tiger explained that the bracelet is Buddhist and it’s for protection and strength. He says he will be wearing it the rest of his life. If that’s the case then I think it’s a great time for Tiger’s marketing team to see how well the guy still sells. Maybe Tiger’s Buddhist bracelet can catch on the way Lance Armstrong Livestrong band did.

Photo Credit: Deadspin, where Daulerio thought Tilghman tossed up better softballs. That’s surprising to read, considering they clearly saw her ask him about the bracelet. What a joke.

Tom Rinaldi Asks Right Questions in Tiger Woods Interview

ESPN must have been proud to land the first interview with Tiger Woods since he went from being famous to infamous. That was probably until they learned that The Golf Channel also landed an exclusive. So why the interview rush all of a sudden? My guess is that Tiger’s team finally wised up and realized the best way to defend himself in the face of all his mistresses coming out and releasing embarrassing information is for Tiger to talk publicly. They did that by scheduling these two interviews shortly after the Joslyn James sext messages were released on Thursday. As for the actual interviews, Tom Rinaldi did a good job hitting Tiger with all the right questions. Kelly Tilghman of The Golf Channel totally softballed all of hers. I’ll explain more but first watch the Tom Rinaldi ESPN Tiger Woods interview video:

Tiger took the first question and started filibustering, wasting no time explaining how he’s found religion. As soon as Rinaldi got the floor back, he went immediately into the Thanksgiving incident. Obviously Tiger allowed no leeway there despite being pressed twice and used a smart line that his team must have crafted “It’s all in the police report, it’s all public information.” When asked about issuing a public apology, Tiger explained why he did it by saying he wanted to apologize to the people who thought differently about him. He essentially admitted that he owed them an apology for what he did which is how I felt.

Tiger did a good job avoiding tough questions by answering with scripted lines throughout the interview. Rinaldi followed with another question I’ve been dying to have answered: for what was Tiger in treatment? Once again, Tiger said it’s a private issue. As Tiger went off on a tangent, Rinaldi brought him back once again asking who the person was that Tiger had turned into. Tiger of course didn’t answer but went back to his “I got away from my core values” explanation. He asked Tiger about the anticipated reception from the crowd and got Tiger to admit that he would want some cheers. Tiger even had to explain what it was like facing his mom and wife after all the info came out. Then, Rinaldi asked a question many people rightfully wanted an answer for: why did Tiger get married? Tiger must have known that question was coming because he answered quickly and swiftly.

In the end, Tiger did not answer much and he controlled the environment like usual. Nonetheless, I’m pleased he finally showed his face and answered questions difficult questions. It’s not as if he revealed personal details — he had the tough stuff scripted — so why didn’t he do this a long time ago? It would have gone a long way towards stopping the bleeding, like when he made more consecutive covers of the NY Post than 9/11 did because he was in hiding. Give it six months and everyone will love Tiger again. Book it.

Conflicting Tiger Woods Return Date Reports Part of the P.R. Strategy

I’ve commented before on the genius of Tiger’s P.R. people back when they sent out a Tiger double to Hattiesburg to try and make the members of the paparazzi doubt themselves. While some people took the bait and said that wasn’t Tiger in rehab, the truth of the impostor was later revealed. Based on what happened Thursday, I strongly believe that Tiger’s team is employing yet another P.R. strategy.

First, the New York Post cited “two sources in the golf community” who say Tiger has hired P.R. strategist Ari Fleischer in preparation for a return to golf at Bay Hill in two weeks. One source said they would be shocked if Tiger didn’t play at Bay Hill. After the media ruminated that story as its lead subject for 12-18 hours, a new headline emerged and it said Tiger’s wouldn’t return to golf until at least The Masters. This was an AP report citing “two people with knowledge of [Tiger's] plans.”

My guess is the sources were Tiger’s agent or new mouthpiece — Fleischer. After all, if Tiger’s real plan is to play Bay Hill, wouldn’t it be wise to make people think he’s not playing there so they’re unprepared? A surprise, unplanned appearance could catch the paparazzi and media minions off guard thus making Tiger’s life less hectic the next few weeks. Also, getting people caught up in the guessing game of when Tiger will return covers up the real question they don’t want pondered: does this prompt of a return make Tiger’s apology more disingenuous? To those who actually bought into Tiger’s apology and the idea that he really needs to straighten out his family life before returning to golf (and that he might take the entire year off), the answer would be “yes.” That’s not something they want discussed and they’ve done a great job creating a diversion for the time being. In other words, mission accomplished.

Woods hires Fleischer to help with image [NY Post]
AP sources: Woods likely to return at Masters [Golf.com]

Dalai Lama Is the Only Person Who Doesn’t Know Who Tiger Woods Is

Here I was thinking that Tiger Woods was the biggest story in the entire world. ESPN, ABC, NBC, FOX, and CNN told me so. The Dalai Lama said otherwise. The Buddhist spiritual leader was chilling in Beverly Hills over the weekend getting prepared to make a speech in support of Whole Child International when he was asked about Tiger Woods. The best part is he’s probably the first person I know of who wasn’t aware of Woods’ existence so he had to be briefed on the situation. The worst part is he slammed Tiger for not following his Buddhist faith:

[Dalai Lama said] when it comes to adultery, “all religions have the same idea.”

“Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that’s important,” he said. “Self-discipline with awareness of consequences.”

Tiger may have been the first public figure in America to invoke Buddhism when lamenting that he strayed from his faith. With that inclusion, he checked almost every aspect of the ideal public apology in the handbook: blame yourself, say you’ve found religion, remind everyone you’re human, conclude that you need help. It really is that simple. As a bonus, Tiger will also receive total consciousness on his deathbed. That has to be reassuring.

Mission: Humanize Tiger a Success

By now we’ve all deconstructed the Tiger Woods apology statement as if it were the Zapruder film (back and to the left!). Many people feel Tiger came across sincerely while others feel his statement was too contrived. I’m one who feels Tiger’s statement was too prepared and too scripted to be completely satisfied by the apology. If I were grading the statement for how it was written and the themes the P.R. staff preached, I would give it an “A,” but I wish it were Tiger speaking more sincerely. I’m in the minority because most people bought the sincerity of the apology and forgave Woods. Accordingly, they bought into one of the biggest messages Tiger’s people wanted to communicate: Tiger’s human.

Throughout his life, Tiger’s been portrayed as a deity, an inhuman prodigy placed here on Earth to make golf look easy. He was the spokesman of several companies and pushed as a role model whom we should aspire to be like. Books were written about him and commercials were made with him, all telling us that he was better than us and that he was the model person. Now, Tiger’s P.R. team is making its best effort to tear all that down in an effort to sell us the concept that Tiger is human, flawed, and needs help like the rest of us.

One of Tiger’s greatest messages was that he needed help. He said he would continue to receive therapy and treatment. He convinced us life was more about what you overcome, not how many majors you win on the golf course. He tried to sell us on a message that he has problems just like all of us and that he wants to be a symbol of overcoming issues. I still am wondering about the issues he talked. What’s he overcoming? What therapy? What help? The only help Tiger needs is deciding what tournament to play next. This guy needs to get out of that b.s. sex rehab he’s in and focus on his golf game.

While many people have bought into Tiger’s message and problems, I haven’t. Tiger’s convincing the world that he’s rehabbing himself for problems I’m still unsure of. Sexual rehabilitation my butt. This is image rehab and image therapy and nothing more. I just hope Tiger gets his crap together and gets back out on the course so we can forget about this nonsense sooner than later. What a waste it would be for him to miss the rest of the season; he has so much more to accomplish in his career.

Golf Channel Analyst Cries After Tiger Woods Apology Statement

It should come as no surprise that many people have taken the bait fed by Tiger Woods and his P.R. team. After all, how does the saying go, “What the American public doesn’t know is what makes them the American public.” Would you feel that Tiger’s apology were sincere if you knew all the preparation and careful planning that went into orchestrating his statement? Does it not matter? Apparently not considering that over two-thirds of SportsCenter viewers said they felt his statement was sincere. Heck, as Jimmy Traina’s Hot Clicks showed even Golf Channel analyst Charlie Rymer wound up crying because he was so moved by Tiger’s apology. No joke. Check this out:

For his mom to watch that was painful? I’m guessing hearing that Tiger was banging tons of chicks on the road while Elin was home pregnant probably was painful for Tiger’s mom to hear, not the statement. We should be more incredulous that Tiger’s mom was placed in the front row as a pawn in this production and that Tiger was instructed to go hug her immediately after finishing the speech. We should be more incredulous that Tiger left the podium promptly leaving his mother to field questions instead of him. I don’t even understand how someone on TV can just buy into everything the P.R. people were trying to do. I really don’t.