The Edge: The Tiger Woods Effect on Equities

The Trading Edge with Derek HoffmanRule #1 in business is living the path of trustworthiness to those who support you (there are obviously many people not worth trusting in business). Honesty, integrity and the relationships we have with our friends and family display our true character.

In the case of a global superstar athlete like Tiger Woods, his powerful image and talents move the products and services for Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Nike (NYSE: NKE), PepsiCo’s Gatorade (NYSE: PEP), Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), and P&G’s Gillette (NYSE: PG).

At the moment, I suggest you consider thinking twice about putting your hard earned investment dollars in companies that endorse Tiger Woods. We live in a society where people tend to forgive and forget, but the short term backlash can be strong. So, I would just be cautious with the aforementioned equities in the short-to-intermediate term until the dust settles and the Tiger clouds clear.

After the 33-year old professional golfer’s reports of marital affairs surfaced on November 27th, Tiger’s TV Ads disappeared off the tube into thin air. Like Sprite commercials say, “Image is Everything.” Global brands do not want to be associated with a man who cheated on his wife and kids.

In reaction to Tiger’s car crash and affair allegations, Tiger Woods wrote on his site, “I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves.” In Tiger’s statement, just substitute ‘family’ for fans, product supporters, shareholders and Tiger Woods enthusiasts and you have one disappointed crowd … until his publicity team renews his image.

But time will pass and all will be mostly forgiven in a few years. Martha Stewart is back running her brands and on TV. Michael Jordan survived his gambling scandal. Stay tuned to see how things play out …

Disclosure: No positions in the stocks mentioned.

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