Sergio Garcia Criticised by Sponsor for Tiger Woods Comments

May 23, 2013

Sergio Garcia’s biggest sponsor, TaylorMade-adidas, is to consider its association with the golf player in the aftermath of his controversial comments about Tiger Woods.

After a recent dispute over the world number one’s alleged gamesmanship, Garcia joked that he would invite Woods for dinner to clear the air and serve him fried chicken.

TaylorMade-adidas said: “We discussed with him that his comments are clearly out of bounds. We are continuing to review the matter.

“Sergio’s recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s values and corporate culture.

“We have spoken with Sergio directly and he clearly has regret for his statement and we believe he is sincere.”

Woods said the remark was “wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate” on his Twitter account.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, sponsorship expert and Director for brandRapport, Nigel Currie said he was suprised the sponsor had become involved so early on in the case.

Currie said: “It certainly is unusual for a sponsor to get involved so early in a developing story. Normally sponsors would remain quiet for several days to let the initial fall out subside.  In this case they have become involved relatively early in proceedings.

“It has further raised the profile of the story when you would expect them to want it to disappear from the media.”

A problem for Garcia’s attractiveness

Currie also stated that Garcia could have problems attracting sponsors in the future. He added: “I think it will be damaging for him.  He has some good high profile sponsors but he is no longer seen as the up and coming new star and establishing new partners may not be as easy for him as it would have been a few years ago.”

Garcia apologised for his comments at a press conference yesterday. He is not expected to face disciplinary action.

He said: “I obviously was caught off guard by the question but I understand my answer was totally out of place and I can’t say sorry enough.

“Most importantly I want to apologise to Tiger. I don’t have his phone number but I’ve called his manager. He didn’t pick up but I left a message saying I would love to talk as soon as possible telling him how sorry I am and say it was a bad comment.”