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7 Marketing Lessons Brands Can Learn From Tiger Woods’ Comeback

Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) ORG XMIT: AUG198

By Azeez Disu

Well it is very hard for a champion to return to winning ways after many losses and defeats; this applies to humans and brands. The story of Tiger Woods, an American professional golfer, remains an inspiration for many brands and individuals who are on the verge of giving up, shutting down production, closing shop, or jettisoning that idea or strategy. The story of Woods calls for a rethink.

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Brands face turbulent times, for the Golf legend, his career was on the verge of total collapse before he spanned back to his winning ways.

Excitingly, he ended his 11-year drought to win his fifth Masters and 15th major title to seal one of the greatest comeback stories in sport.

Woods’ career became plagued by trouble with the police, a crippling injury and a string of affairs. He soon lost his winning strides, fans, friends, brand endorsement and others.

Today the world stands in applaud for the legend considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.

His story is also a source of inspiration for any brand or anyone who wish to dream and strive. After winning the Masters, he was honoured with Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump among other recognitions.

Of interest, there are some marketing lessons brands can learn from Woods’ story.

Never Give Up Just Restrategise
The “Tiger Woods’ comeback” story portrays the spirit of not giving up, his focus and determination has greatly helped him. In the case of brands fast loosing pace in a competitive marketing environment, it is highlight to rethink and restrategise.

Instinctively, many people had written Woods off before his comeback in the Masters, for which he received the winning prize of $2.07 million (the largest in history). For 11 years, his stock crashed, after failing to win a Major. In November 2017, he sank to No. 1,199 in the world rankings.

Story Telling
Interestingly, one brand that has stayed dearly with Tiger Woods in the midst of his challenges while other brands parted ways with him is Nike and upon winning his 15th title, the brand recently celebrated him with a new campaign.

The video by Wieden & Kennedy, called “Tiger Woods: Same Dream,” was shared on social media just moments after Woods won his first major championship since 2008. It included glimpses of the 43-year-old’s on-course ups and downs, and ended with old footage from Woods’ childhood, when he predicted that “I’m going to beat Jack Nicklaus.” That is seemingly a reference to Woods now being within three major tournament wins of Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18 major titles.

The power of storytelling helps customers connect with your brand. So, brands need to tell their success stories in a remarkable way.

Interestingly, for Nike, the brand was quick to create ad for the Golf icon, making the brand to trend and look seamless in its delivery. The creative simply made everyone a winner-Woods, Nike, and fans. So, the lesson is brands should be prepared to take advantage of current trends and opportunities to engage with customers.

Crisis Management
In 2009, news broke that Woods had been cheating on his wife, Elin Nordegren. Two days later, he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant outside his house.

He was accused of having an affair with Rachel Uchitel, a New York nightclub manager. Months later, several other women came forward to say they had affairs with Woods.

Many of Woods’ endorsement partners dropped him over the controversy, including AT &T, Gatorade, Gillette, Golf Digest, and Tag Heuer.

Woods got back to his winning ways by managing the crisis in his life and this applies to brands, deploying excellent crisis management will greatly help brands overcome their challenges.

Never Walk Alone
For brands on overcoming challenges, his comeback explains that there is need to gather inner strength, work closely with partners and stakeholders that could help you solve the crisis you might be facing whether reputational crisis or decline in sales.

Woods’ success is attributed to the support from his girlfriend, family and friends.

Recall last year Wally Goodwin, Tiger’s old coach at Stanford University in California, said there was “new calmness” about Tiger, and suggested Erica (girlfriend) might be the reason.

He added: “Something has fundamentally changed. There is a difference in the way he walks and carries himself.”

After winning his Masters, Woods acknowledged the power of team work and the support he received from coach, family and friends by saying ‘’we did it’’ not “I did it”. Brands should learn to create a stronger bond with the inner and external publics.

Stage A Comeback
If you have closed shop or your brand is in crisis, stage a comeback in as much as your customer still needs your product or services and the opportunities are still there, rebrand and launch your brand back to the market with electrifying marketing campaigns.

Wood staged a comeback after many defeats and crisis. Michael Jordan described Woods’ masters comeback as the “greatest ever” and quoted as saying “To me, it is the greatest comeback I have ever seen”

Be Determine To Win
According to Justin Timberlake “While pundits doubted he’d ever win again, Tiger’s commitment never wavered. The thing we don’t always appreciate is the patience. Tiger spent countless hours in the gym, and on the golf course, with a singular goal in mind. All the work he did when people weren’t watching allowed him to hug his children on the same hallowed ground he hugged his father 22 years ago, amid all the adulation, a Masters champion once again.”

For brands, be patience and be deliberate as you strive, eventually you will win.

Disrupt Your Industry
Most people became attracted to the game of golf as a result of Woods’ contributions and mastery of the game. He transformed the game of golf, becoming the number one sporting personality in the world.

For years, he was world number one golfer, breaking records upon records.
In line with this, brands irrespective of their industry should disrupt their industry with innovative products and services.

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