NEW YORK (Reuters) - Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture Plc on Sunday said it was ending its six-year sponsorship arrangement with golfer Tiger Woods, who is embroiled in a scandal involving extra-marital affairs with numerous women.
“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 in a statement.
Woods had appeared in Accenture’s print, television and online ads.
Accenture’s move comes a day after razor maker Gillette’s statement that is would limit the role of the No. 1 golfer in the world in its marketing and Woods’ own decision to step away from golf in order to repair his life.
The announcement by Procter & Gamble’s Gillette, which had featured Woods in its razor ads, was an early sign the sex scandal already was taking its toll on his marketability as a global sports idol.
Woods is estimated to earn $100 million a year from his various endorsement deals.
Woods, 33, confessed to “infidelity” in his marriage to his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren as allegations of multiple extra-marital affairs rocked his life and career.
Other major commercial backers have said they are standing by him but AT&T, while also expressing support for Woods and his family, said it is evaluating its relations with him.
Commercials featuring Woods have disappeared from prime-time TV.
Woods has won 14 major titles and 71 PGA Tour events and is the first athlete to earn $1 billion. He is believed to be the wealthiest sports personality in the world.
Nevertheless, several of Woods’ biggest celebrity endorsement sponsors, which include Nike, PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Electronic Arts, recently said that they continue to support their commercial icon.
On his website on Friday, Woods admitted for the first time to infidelity after earlier admitting “transgressions.” He did not mention specific affairs but asked for forgiveness and said he would leave golf for an indefinite period “to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.”
What pierced Woods’ larger-than-life persona, propped up by lucrative endorsement deals and polished by the media and adoring fans, was a minor early morning car accident outside his Florida home on November 27.
Speculation that the accident was provoked by a blazing quarrel between Woods and his wife over his affairs rapidly ballooned into a full-fledged sex scandal.
Reporting by Ilaina Jonas and Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Bill Trott
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