Publisher EA has once again pledged its loyalty to beleaguered golfer Tiger Woods with the boss of EA Sports Peter Moore insisting that the firm will not follow the lead of other sponsors and walk away from the star.
“For the past month, we have watched the Tiger Woods story play itself out while several of his sponsors have stepped away from the golfer,” Moore explained on his blog.
“I want to shed some light on why EA Sports has decided to continue with Tiger on the masthead of this game. Our relationship with Tiger has always been rooted in golf. 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.
“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.”
Moore also went on to give some initial details of its secretive online-only outing Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, a title that was first hinted at in May of last year.
“For the past year, we have been in full development of a new and highly innovative, online golf game,” he explained. “The game has been in closed beta for eight months, with more than 75,000 people playing and participating.
“Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online is a breakthrough experience. Golfers will love the authentic feel of the course and gamers will be struck by the detail and smooth flow of the browser based experience. We have spent considerable time developing and testing this game; we’re proud of it; and we are releasing it in open beta later this month.”