Well, the first corporate shoe has now dropped on Tiger Woods' head (and from his bank account): Accenture is backing out of its sponsorship of the world's best golfer.
Here's the key graph from Accenture's statement announcing the move:
For the past six years, Accenture and Tiger Woods have had a very successful sponsorship arrangement and his achievements on the golf course have been a powerful metaphor for business success in Accenture’s advertising. However, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising. Accenture said that it wishes only the best for Tiger Woods and his family.
As I wrote last week in my BaltSun column, I'm really torn about how to feel about Tiger. I care less about his corporate money train than his impact on a generation of young golfers, so I'm not going to weep for his lost Accenture paycheck.
The question now is whether Accenture's move opens the barn door for other corporations to bolt, or whether they turn out to be an aberration. My best guess is that in the next few days or weeks at least of few more sponsors will follow Accenture's lead and dump Woods, too.