I endured a three-hour layover at Hartsfield International Airport last night, I could not escape the Tiger Woods cacophony. Every gossip publication imaginable plastered his image on their front cover.
I certainly expect that Us Magazine, People, and OK! will capitalize on Woods’ indiscretion. What floored me was the huge Accenture billboard across from the newsstand. There stands Tiger, hovering over a golf ball. The ball is situated in a precarious spot beside a babbling brook. No mere mortal could ever swing their club adeptly to rescue this one. Ironically, the ad says, “It’s what you do next that counts.”
Really? If that is true, then Accenture has clearly dropped the ball.
As a corporate sponsor for Tiger Woods, they certainly did not make the right move by leaving this ad in the airport walkway. Much like Woods, the Accenture marketing team has waited a tad too long to continue basking in the glow of Wood’s fleeting fame.
What strategies or brands do you keep carrying in your portfolio that is now producing negative returns?
Here are other strategies that Accenture could have considered when the Woods debacle hit:
1. Pull the ad immediately and replace with a message professing their undying commitment to the sponsorship.
2. Pull the ad immediately and re-negotiate their sponsorship agreement with Woods.
3. Pull the ad immediately and find a new athlete to sponsor.
4. Develop a video for their website and blog that details their next step in the sponsor agreement.
You will notice a common theme here: responsiveness. When you cannot respond to the changing tides, you are simply swinging the wrong club. (OK, I promise to knock it off with the golf metaphors in future posts).
Tiger’s behavior is not highly unusual for a star athlete whose salary has hit the stratosphere, but it signals yet another celebrity facing a pivotal career moment. By ignoring the opportunity to proactively address and assess your next move, someone will do it for you. And it won’t bring you championship status.
We are all mere mortals. We cannot aim for perfection in all aspects of our lives. But we can strive to be transparent. It’s what you do in the face of a crisis that counts.