Friday, April 9, 2010

The Tiger comeback

A vulnerable looking Tiger Woods faces the camera as questions are posed to him by the voice of his dead father. That’s the new Nike ad by Wieden+Kennedy which aired recently to mark his comeback to golf at the Masters 2010.

Day 1 of golf’s Masters this year at Augusta National is over. Tiger Woods played like he never left. He opened with a 4-under 68 – his best first round ever at Augusta National – and only two shots behind leader Fred Couples.

He must have been nervous out there. There was an incredible amount of observers waiting to see how he would respond this week – in our region ESPN STAR Sportshad more visible Masters lineup this year.

ESPN STAR started with coverage of the Par 3 contest on Thursday and was building towards the opening tee-off by Woods. An email from their PR department reminded me not to miss the exclusive coverage of Tiger Woods’ first tee shot at the Masters 2010.

"Time: 1.38AM – 1.45AM."

Inside… Woods must be feeling ecstatic. By most accounts, the support he received on his first day back at work was very positive. Fans stood along the first fairway, some a half-hour before he arrived, to wait for him to tee-off his golf career after five months of what must have been hell for him. Among those in the gallery watching was Nike chairman Phil Knight.

Nike was one of the sponsors who continued to back Woods at the height of his sex scandal. This advertising spot is a reward for the support. Yes, the ad is a little self-serving but it’s also brilliant. Those who have followed Tiger Woods’ career, even casual followers, will know he’s had a strong relationship with his father (Earl Woods).

Only Earl (whose had his own marital problems in the past) could ask those questions to Tiger - "did you learn anything?"

Tiger never speaks during the commercial. This morning, he let his golf do some of the talking – and perhaps a bit of mending as well.

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