EA reiterates commitment to Tiger Woods brand
"We didn’t form a relationship so he could act as an arm’s length endorser" - Moore
Electronic Arts has reconfirmed that it intends to continue to work with shamed sports star Tiger Woods despite other high profile sponsors cancelling their business arrangements with the US golfer.
Gillette, Accenture and AT&T have all dropped endorsement deals with Woods, following his admission of infidelities with a number of women.
"Our relationship with Tiger has always been rooted in golf," wrote EA Sports president Peter Moore. "We didn’t form a relationship with him so that he could act as an arm’s length endorser. Far from it. We chose to partner with Tiger in 1997 because we saw him as the world’s best, most talented and exciting golfer.
"We struck that partnership with the assumption that he would remain near or at the top of his sport for years to come."
Although Woods has announced a break in his golfing career, EA Sports is due to launch a revamped Tiger Woods game this year, with over 75,000 people already taking part in the online beta.
"By his own admission, he’s made some mistakes off the course. But regardless of what’s happening in his personal life, and regardless of his decision to take a personal leave from the sport, Tiger Woods is still one of the greatest athletes in history," continued Moore.
"At EA Sports, we make authentic sports simulations. When we say 'It’s in the Game', it is not just a tag line but a statement about the quality and authenticity of the game experience. Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online is truly representative of that rallying cry, and a game that all of us at EA Sports are proud to be delivering this month to sports fans around the globe."
The publisher's commitment to the athlete and not the controversy was also demonstrated last year when it placed convicted rapist Mike Tyson on the cover of boxing title Fight Night Round 4, with Peter Moore having the final say on the controversial decision.
"I fully understand people's issues with that and you know, the challenge you have with athletes is that they're human beings and you look at what you do, and you make some hard choices," he told Eurogamer at the time.