Mr. Focus and Control: Tiger and the Experts
Writing in The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on the experts, the sponsorship deals, and a Tiger Woods who apparently is not too big to fail:
The interesting question is why all of these experts, whose careers depend on their supposed ability to analyze and understand the mood of the public (and of corporations), could have so completely misdiagnosed what was happening. Some of the reaction can be explained as simply assuming that Tiger was too big to be brought down by extramarital transgressions. And some of it probably derived from marketing consultants’ benighted faith that any problem can be solved if the marketing is good enough. But I also think there was a profound misunderstanding on the part of these experts of the nature of Tiger’s appeal, which from the start has been founded on an image of complete control and focus, an image that this scandal utterly wrecked. And the fact that most sports marketing professionals seem not to have understood just how this story would play out with the public and with sponsors, even though understanding these things is their core business, does make you question whether companies should be listening to marketing consultants at all.