Blog: Not out of the woods just yet

Simon Warburton | 8 April 2010

As the Masters in Augusta kicks off, Nike has released an extraordinary ad featuring, yes, you guessed it, the one and only Tiger Woods.

Now for those who have living been on Mars for the past couple of months, Mr Woods has been rather in the headlines of late for some well-publicised er, extra-ciricular activity, but he's back on the back pages as the famed Georgia tournament begins.

But has Nike concentrated on the Azaleas, Amen Corner, the Green Jacket and all the paraphernalia that goes with the first Major of the season?

No it has not. In a remarkable 30 second slot on You Tube and following Tiger's much-criticised mea culpa recently, the winner of 14 Majors stares contritely at the camera while a sombre voice - thought to resemble that of his late father - intones a series of questions to his son.

"Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion," begins the disembodied voice somewhat bizarrely.

"I want to find out what your thinking was, what your feelings are and did you learn anything."

And that's it. Woods junior simply stares at the camera in a moody black and white shot, but which highlights the Nike whoosh in stark brilliance.

Tiger's just been hauled over the coals by the beaks at Augusta and now Nike releases this ad which has the air of a parent's "I'm not angry, I'm disappointed," feel (which is always worse).

You'd think Tiger might have wanted to lie low for a bit, but maybe this is Nike getting its two-pennyworth in for all the undoubted negative publicity surrounding the golfer. And in fairness there's been a lot of it.

Nike has poured squillions into Woods and it may well feel he owes them one. There's certainly no mistaking the prominence of the logo as a humbled Tiger stares, rather miserably into the camera which seems to bore into his soul.

But come on Tiger, you can only beat yourself up for so long - we've had enough staged press conferences and cap doffing. Time to do what you do best, but this time, just manage a smile or two around Augusta's manicured lawns.

And just as long as you let Ian Poulter win. He's 40-1 in case you don't know.

By Simon Warburton.



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