(Tiger Woods story updated with results from study of how public has reacted to his televised statement.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tiger Woods' televised apology on Feb. 19 looked and sounded sincere -- but apparently readers of TheStreet aren't buying it.

"I think Tiger is a disgusting man," one reader wrote, after the televised statement. "He's a coward and a cheater and made a fool of his fans, especially the young ones."

In fact, Davie Brown Entertainment, a part of Omnicom ( OMC) has conducted a study that shows Tiger's public apology did not affect his scores in a positive way.

"You would expect to see his scores rise," Matt Delzell, a director at Davie-Brown Entertainment said. Delzell says that usually a televised statement where a celebrity admits and takes responsibility for past mistakes would provide some reprieve. But there was something that the public wasn't getting from Tiger's message.

"I think the sincerity of it is being question," Delzell explains. "It was too scripted. It felt like it was written by somebody else."

Tiger's statement was given on February19th and the national survey concluded on March 2nd. The results show that Tiger has actually dropped in "appeal or likability" since the televised statement; in "aspiration," or the degree to which consumers feel the celebrity has a life to which they would aspire; in "breakthrough," or the degree to which consumers take notice of the celebrity when they appear on TV or film; a bit in "influence;" and slightly in the "trend setter" category.

In terms of aspiration, Tiger's score is now on par with celebrities such as Jon Gosselin, Heidi Montag, Barry Bonds, and Kevin Federline, according to Davie-Brown Entertainment -- and that's a party you don't want to be invited to.

So what is Tiger to do? Well, Delzell says there are usually three ways that a disgraced celebrity can begin to improve his or her image after a highly publicized scandal: First, to make a sincere apology and to do it quickly -- which of course is an area where Tiger missed the boat; he should have done it faster. Secondly, the disgraced celebrity should "keep their nose clean" and let time pass. Third, the celebrity should have success in his or her career; so Tiger should make sure that he is successful on the golf course, which has never been much of a problem. These combined might not erase his errors from people's memories, but they will help, Delzell says, them get pass his transgressions.

All this will clearly take quite a bit of effort: Tiger used to be number six on the Davie Brown Index in terms of his attractiveness as a celebrity endorser, he's now 147.

It might come as no surprise then that the largest portion of voters in our recent poll asking, "In light of Tiger's televised apology last week, which sponsors do you think handled their relationship with Woods most prudently?" answered, " Accenture ( ACN) and AT&T ( T)." Those companies were the first to walk away from Tiger -- and they also walked away with 48.4% of the votes.

Votes in our poll were less supportive of Nike ( NKE) and Electronic Arts, ( ERTS) both of which have fully backed Tiger. They received 26.9% of the votes.

But the ones that received the least support from our voters were the one that have been trying to have it both ways -- the sponsors that have been hanging out in the shadows, namely, P&G's ( PG) Gillette, Tag Heuer, and PepsiCo's ( PEP) Gatorade received the least number of votes, at 24.7%.

Interestingly, it appears that Gatorade got the hint. On Dec. 8, when Gatorade announced that it was discontinuing the "Gatorade Tiger Focus" drink, the company said the decision had nothing to with the scandal. Our poll was published on Feb. 20, and ran on the site throughout the past week. On Feb. 26, Gatorade announced that it was dropping Tiger as a Gatorade endorser.

"We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship," a Gatorade representative said in a statement.


The statement did add that Gatorade would continue "our partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation will continue. We wish him all the best."

And with that, Gatorade became the third major corporate sponsor to drop Tiger. Granted, Tiger won't likely be living on the streets anytime soon. And perhaps he'll one day put the scandal in his past, just as countless others -- from athletes to politicians -- have done before.

Still, shareholders of Tiger Woods-endorsed stocks will have a hard time forgetting the financial pain he apparently caused them when, according to one study, they lost between $5 billion to $12 billion in the market value of their investment as news of his extramarital sexcapades first broke.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York


Tiger Woods

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