Tiger's Endorsements: Are They Soon to be Gone?

12/13/2009 | Business Litigation

So, everyone is talking about Tiger Woods, his marriage, and his relationships with other women. But, what very few people seem to be talking about is his lucrative endorsements and whether any of them will drop him, or worse, sue him based on the tarnishment of his image.
As a business litigation attorney, I can't help but think about all of the potential claims companies may have against Tiger (even Saturday Night Live got in on the joke this weekend).  While some endorsement contratcs may have morals clauses, others may not; however, that doesn't mean they can't still get out of those contracts.  I think a strong argument can be made that Tiger's announcement today that he is taking an "indefinite" leave from the game of golf, coupled with the image problem created by his "infidelity" makes for a strong argument that there has been a material change in the relationship that should justify a novation of the contracts at the very least.  A really smart lawyer (since even this Louisville lawyer can figure this one out) can argue that the sponsors business may actually be damaged by being associated with Tiger and, as a result, they may be entitled to a refund.  

Hans

PS. At the time I am writing this, it appears Gillette is backing away from Tiger.