The cost of Tiger Woods

Friday, Feb. 26
Posted 11 a.m. EDT

Marital indiscretion usually comes with a financial cost -- often brutally determined down to the penny in divorce court. For a corporate sponsorship cash cow like golfer Tiger Woods, it can be mind-boggling.

Tiger Woods
Back in December, Reuters reported that millions of shareholders in companies endorsed by Woods could have lost from $5 to $12 billion. That's according to a study by researchers and professors Victor Stango and Christopher Knittel. They evaluated stock market returns for the 13 trading days after Nov. 27, the date of the car accident that started the scandal.

Woods himself earned an estimated $100 million a year from sponsorships according to Reuters.

While Woods sorts out his life and career, Procter & Gamble, as well as other sponsors, are waiting to hear whether and when he'll return to the sport that made him a celebrity. They're not revealing the price or length of their contracts with Woods, and emphasizing that they have other spokespeople lined up. In its latest "Gillette Champions" television ads, for instance, tennis great Roger Federer and baseball's Derek Jeter appear sans Woods.

Other sponsors have moved on, including AT&T and Accenture, a management consultant company.

As for the cost to network television, CBS president Sean McManus has said televised golf does better from an economic standpoint with Woods playing, but that they're still doing "perfectly fine."

We won't know the exact numbers of the financial losses of Woods, his sponsors and network television, but when corporate sponsors lose faith, shareholders have a stake in those losses too.

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