Can Tiger come back? Will he have to reinvent his image?

Tiger Woods returned to golf this week, reigniting the discussion about whether his sexual exploits are his own personal business or whether his behavior off the green should play a role in his (previously) lucrative career as a corporate spokesman.

Having lost several sponsorship deals in recent months, Tiger appears to be looking for a way to position himself as thoughtful and penitent about his behavior. Take for example, this new Nike ad:

That follows his February press conference when he said he was deeply sorry.

If he’s able to rehabilitate his career, he wouldn’t be the first to come back post sex scandal — see also Eliot Spitzer, Rob Lowe, David Letterman, Bill Clinton, Hugh Grant … and the list goes on.

Don Aucoin at the Boston Globe wrote this week that Americans love a comeback story:

if we are invested in the comebacks of people we don’t know, perhaps it is because we sense our quasi-authorial power to help write their second acts. Or it could be that we just can’t resist a good comeback story, particularly now, with 15 million people out of work in this deep recession.

“You get the feeling that in this country now, everyone has to come back,’’ observed Ron Simon, curator of television and radio at the Paley Center for Media. “So these stories become parables that can help people along with their own struggles, myths that can help people redefine themselves in their own lives.’’

What do you think? Can Tiger come back? Should we care about the sex lives of celebrities?

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Categories: career, creativity, home and family

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1 reply

  1. He’s an athlete first and an advertising mascot second. Of course he’ll come back. All he has to do is play golf. Endorsements are secondary.

    Maybe we shouldn’t care about the sex lives of celebrities, but we’re probably hard-wired to do so. We seem to have a need to constantly monitor the status of others in ‘the tribe.’ Maybe that’s how we made it this far.

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