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Fortune Magazine Asks “Is Tiger Woods Running Out of Money?”

Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

Fortune Magazine via CNNMoney.com asks the following question in their latest issue, “Is Tiger Woods running out of money?”

It is an interesting question to ponder since Tiger’s essentially been MIA from the PGA Tour for two seasons.

The Fortune Magazine story points to a severe drop in Tiger’s endorsement income and large expenditures as the reasons he could be in financial trouble.

Some of those large expenditures include a divorce settlement worth a reported $100 million, a$54 million mortgage on his Jupiter Island, Florida home and a luxury home for his mother.

When Fortune brought up Tiger’s endorsements this is what really caught my eye:

But our source also tells us that Tiger’s Nike money fell by as much as 50% in 2010 (to about $10 million, down from $20 million in 2009) and that he will get the same reduced amount for 2011. The reason? Nike penalized him for his indiscretions, reducing his payment for two years as a response to his public behavior. Nike had no comment.

If Nike is indeed distancing itself from Tiger financially, then he’s lost his ace in the hole concerning his non-golfing income.

I don’t think Tiger can ever recapture his “pre-divorce” form where he was winning tournaments and raking in Michael Jordan-levels of endorsement income.  It’s been stated in numerous places that part of Tiger’s appeal before that fateful weekend in Florida in 2009 was his squeaky clean image and appearance of a ‘family man’.  No matter what happens in the future, he can never recapture that.

Also, Tiger’s injuries and golfing performance over the past two seasons is more ordinary than extraordinary. Nike, Gatorade, Gillette and other companies were paying for Tiger’s superhero-esque performance on the golf course.   Their association with Tiger is what helped set them apart from their competitors in the marketplace.

So, in the grand scheme of things, I can believe Fortune’s premise to their question, in which the answer appears to be ‘yes’.

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