Company offers Tiger Woods $100M to be 'bad boy'
Published Tuesday, May 18, 2010 9:10PM EDT
An online gaming company has offered embattled golfer Tiger Woods a $100 million sponsorship deal but with one small catch regarding his troubled personal life -- he's free to do whatever he wants.
In what is considered the first sponsorship deal of its kind, gaming company Bodogbrand.com has offered Woods the massive sponsorship package without a ‘morality clause' attached.
In fact, the company's founder and owner goes so far as to suggest that Woods embrace his new "bad boy" image.
"If Tiger would just come clean and admit he likes to do the same things I like to do, I think he'd fit our brand perfectly," Canadian-born billionaire Calvin Ayre told CTV's Canada AM from Monte Carlo Tuesday.
"As is always the case in these situations it is the fact that you are living a life that is not true that actually causes the problem. Iif he'd just come clean and admit ‘This is who I am' that I think there would be a lot of opportunity for him with a different image."
Ayre's promotes his company as a "lifestyle brand" and has said that his company is not saying "all is forgiven" for Woods' extramarital transgressions because "there is nothing to forgive."
Ayre says his company has had "a few communications" with the Woods camp, going back to January, and his offer has not been rejected.
Jaime Watt, from Canadian public relations firm Navigator, said the deal is a shrewd business move for Bodogbrand but offers little for Woods.
"What you just saw is why that guy is as successful as he is," Watt told Canada AM following the interview with Ayre. "He knows his niche . . . this has nothing to do with Tiger and everything to do with his company."
"Taking this deal is like taking a cigarette deal, there's a great money for the deal, but there's nothing else, it would be very limiting for the rest of (Woods') career.
"There's absolutely no way he can take a deal from a company whose motto is ‘Play Hard,'" he added.
Since Woods' multiple affairs on his wife, Elin Nordegren, came to light, the golf superstar has lost lucrative endorsement deals with Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture and other companies.
The world's first billionaire athlete marriage is expected to end in a costly divorce – possibly totalling in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
But Watt says taking any money now from a company such Bodogbrand would mean that Woods does not expect any other sponsorship offers to come forward.
While the golfer has struggled in his return to the sport, there is little to suggest that he won't eventually regain the form that has made him the best in his profession for a decade.
The Saskatchewan-born Ayre founded the company that would eventually become Bodog in 1994. While the company expanded rapidly, turning Ayre into a billionaire, he has had serious run-ins over the legality of online gambling with U.S. and Canadian authorities.
His colourful personality has put him on the front of Forbes Magazine and on People Magazine's "Hottest Bachelor" list.