NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AT&T's (T) decision to cut Tiger Woods loose from their sponsorship agreement is, to many, yet another example of how badly the Woods' scandalous behavior has damaged his sponsors' corporate investors.
In fact, a UC Davis study published last week concluded that Woods' actions -- and the resulting scandal -- have reduced shareholder value in sponsor companies by 2.3%, or as much as $12 billion. The conclusion was based on calculations for eight sponsors: Accenture (ACN), AT&T (T), Electronic Arts (ERTS) (makers of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf), Proctor and Gamble (PG) (parent of Tiger sponsor Gillette), Nike (NKE), PepsiCo (PEP) parent of Tiger sponsor Gatorade), TLC Vision (TLC) and Conde Nast (publisher of Golf Digest).
Examples of what seemed like just another stark reminder that even the golfing great is dispensable include the PGA tour chief's public declaration about how golf can move on without Woods as well as Accenture's quick and efficient elimination of any trace of Woods from its offices -- from posters to sales presentations.
"Total shareholder losses may exceed several decades' worth of Tiger Woods' personal endorsement income," the UC Davis researchers wrote.Still, even the brightest scandals eventually burn out, and signs are emerging that Woods could ultimately reemerge from his indefinite leave from golf as a formidable money-making force. Despite the scandal, Nike, Electronic Arts, Upper Deck, NetJets and TLC Vision have remained with Woods. Likewise, the Tiger Woods Dubai resort in the United Arab Emirates continues to move forward, as does Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, which Electronic Arts' EA Sports announced on Monday is still a go. The "Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online is a breakthrough experience," Peter Moore said it a blog post.