Nike takes heat over Tiger Woods ad

The 'winning takes care of everything' spot drew a scolding from online critics still angry about the golfer's infidelity.

By Jason Notte Mar 27, 2013 4:07PM
Nike ad featuring Tiger Woods (Courtesy of Nike via Facebook)Because professional sports has effectively transitioned from national and global pastimes to morality plays, of course something Nike did with sponsorship partner Tiger Woods drew ire and scoldings.

After the golfer got his 77th career win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday in Bay Hill, Fla., he ranked No. 1 in the world for the first time since October 2010. Nike (NKE) opted to celebrate this by posting an ad featuring Woods on Facebook with the caption "Winning takes care of everything."

Despite the fact that the same phrase has come out of his mouth dozens of times since 2009, the ad caused the Internet to just about melt down. Woods and his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, may have come to terms with Woods' continued infidelity that led to their divorce in 2010 and his subsequent career tailspin, but apparently the tabloid-reading public isn't quite ready to forgive.

While Woods had a strong showing of Facebook defenders pointing out the ad's golf-course connotations, hundreds of detractors insist his recent good fortune both on the course and off haven't fixed anything. Here's just a sample of the volleys being fired Woods' and Nike's way without so much as a "fore!":

  • "Lose this loser. Thought you guys were smarter than this. Next shoe buy: not Nike."
  • "Nike there are so many wonderful athletes why do don't you pick one with a little more class and that has some ethics."
  • "Wow. . . sports is a diversion/game/entertainment. Being a man and real human being is what's real. Shame on Tiger, Shame on Nike."

While critics may find it hard to believe now that Tiger's back at No. 1, dating Olymic gold-medal skier Lindsey Vonn and paired with golf legend Arnold Palmer in a kung-fu commercial for his latest video game, Woods didn't exactly get off scot-free for cheating.

Accenture (ACN), AT&T (T), watchmaker TAG Heuer, PepsiCo's (PEP) Gatorade, Procter & Gamble's (PG) Gillette and General Motors' (GM) Buick brand all dumped Woods after his philandering went public. Coupled with leg injuries, departing coaches and caddies and a drop to No. 58 in the world rankings, Woods became a borderline pariah.

Nike, meanwhile, took heat for some of its sponsorship decisions after releasing cyclist Lance Armstrong and suspending runner Oscar Pistorius after Armstrong admitted steroid use and Pistorius was charged with murder in the Valentine's Day death of his girlfriend. Woods' resurgence marks a rare high point for both himself and Nike, and Nike's latest ad may have been a very public sigh of relief.

If the reaction's any indication, however, an emotionally invested portion of the public isn't quite ready to let Woods exhale.

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Mar 27, 2013 7:13PM
Oh please. Get over it and move on with your own lives.  Tiger did wrong, suffered his punishment, grew from it and has improved his life.  He is the best golfer in the world.  If you are so offended by the Nike ad, stay away from the sports section and do as he did, move on.
Mar 27, 2013 6:02PM

I don't have any statistics, but I suspect that we (Americans) have the hightest rate of marital infidelity on the planet. It seems to me more than a little hypocritical to be pointing fingers at our public figures for doing what so many of us do.


The infidelity is a matter between Woods and his wife and, indeed, between all public figures and their spouses. It's not our business. Those of us who feel like sticking our noses into other people's business might, better instead, go watch some "reality" TV or Oprah or network sitcoms or - for those who've reached a higher state of evolution - get a life.

Mar 28, 2013 8:22AM
If we lived by "Winning takes care of everything"  just think of how many Americans would still be alive since World War 2 and all the wars we fought to be "Politically Correct". Now we have our children playing games where "everyone wins" and no scoring. Dodge ball is being eliminated from schools because it may bring lower self esteem. Liberalism at it's finest. We are becoming a country of pussies. This isn't morality it's "Values". Values created by so called Educators, Politicians and Shrinks who lost at "Dodge Ball". We now live by "Values" instead of Morality! It doesn't say "Winning above everything", It says Winning takes care of everything", and you can believe that! This is not about Tiger Woods and his infidelity. His Ex seems to be over it.  It's about Nike and all the money they make, It's about the envious and the socialists who want distribution of wealth because they don't want to work for it. They hate anyone or any company that makes more money than them!
Apr 1, 2013 1:09PM
so happy to know that a lot of the critics of Tiger don't live in glass houses since obviously they are perfect, sin free and go around judging others and can cast their stones from the window instead of leaving that up to God....people this man and many others who are famous are human too and they make mistakes just as we normal and boring people do.  So get off your high horses and let it go.  Just as it was then and is now HIS private life is none of our business.  The only thing that matters is that Tiger has found forgiveness (hopefully) from his ex wife and God. So butt out cause those who are judging would be the first to tell everyone else that and for us to mind our own damn business...
Apr 1, 2013 12:58PM
Live your own lives, if you don't like Nike puchase Addidas, New Balance whatever suits you. If your still upset about what Tiger have way to much time on your hands.
Apr 1, 2013 3:45PM
I can't get over how many people are upset because Tiger made a mistake in his life and was able to over come and learn from it. He did not commit suicide or go crazy because his wife left him. He bids her farewell and is moving on with his life. I would love to take a look in the closet of the people that are upset with the Nike ad.
Mar 28, 2013 10:50AM

As long as you are rich, popular, or can play a sport you can do whatever, say whatever and act however and everything will be forgiven by the Sheep that are the American people who's lives are so drab and useless until they leach onto these types to live vicariously through them


Eldrick Tont  Woods (Tiger), Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Grittaney Spears, etc, etc.

Mar 28, 2013 12:02AM

What a Horrible Ad ...has nothing to do with Tiger and his personal issues, NIKE really has shown POOR judgement in trying to make the brand like it can make things all better...



Apr 1, 2013 3:29PM
If you  really want  to make  a statement buy Amercan. A whole bunch of professionals would be without sponsors and we would have a few more jobs..
Apr 1, 2013 2:12PM
I personaly dont care what Tiger Woods does with his life. I had my fiil of him when he got busted and we got to hear about it for about a year and a half.I"m sure MSN can find another dead horse to beat on,this one"s just gotten too old!
Apr 1, 2013 2:03PM
Apr 1, 2013 7:45PM

Tiger did wrong and paid for it ,leave the man alone and let him live his life ,he does not want u people in it ,go pick on Bill C.

Apr 3, 2013 3:15PM
I think we all have so many more important concerns in our lives than giving any more than a passing thought to the over-publicized extra-marital transgressions of some athlete.  When I want to remind myself what a true sinner looks like I just look in the mirror.  Wouldn't it be novel if there was a mandatory report card stuck on the middle of our foreheads for all to see showing our measure of goodness and/or accomplishment.  Perhaps the real irony is that money IS the only recognized metric of accomplishment, value and worth in our society.  
Apr 2, 2013 1:09PM

Funny how all these goodie-good shoes (GGS) jump on to Tiger when he has worked hard to get back on top. I do not believe the GGS are practicing the turn the other cheek or forgive those who error and learn from their mistakes.

GGS - get a life and live life.  No one is perfect and never will be. 

Mar 28, 2013 3:12PM
Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks....."He is without sin, let him throw the first rock".
Mar 28, 2013 6:15AM

Sounds to me like Tiger was commenting on his "Golf Game", but to those who like to play the 'race card' it makes sence.  I am just surprised they didn't blame it on Obama.


Mar 28, 2013 12:09AM
Are we not tired of all these American guzzilinairs making money off of Chinese labor workers and then be worshipped by the media, banks, internet their invented the cure for cancer...the only reason that NIKE, MICROSOFT, APPLE etc, can boast is because of Cheap Chinese labor...
Mar 28, 2013 2:27AM

Woods is an azzhole that plays Golf well, but he was never a Golfer..Or much of a man..

Still a little boy..

Mar 27, 2013 6:14PM
And all this time i thought Nike had higher morale than this, shame on them. I laugh at the comment saying his next pair of shoes won't be Nikes because of this. Some famous guy cheated on his wife a few years ago? Nikes aren't made with a waffle iron anymore? NOOOO!!!!
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