Having doggedly stuck by golfer Tiger Woods throughout what has been a very turbulent year for the golfing star, EA has for the first time hinted that if Tiger's results on the fairway don't improve time might be called on the pair's long-running relationship.
This is no threat against Tiger,” EA CEO John Riccitiello told an audience at the Global media Summit, as reported by Reuters. We're with him because he has the promise of being the world's best golfer.
We have no plans to move away from him, but it's a business relationship on the basis of we make the best golf game and he's the best golfer. Both of those things need to be true in the long run for the partnership to make sense.
He sort of stuck with us for a very long time and we made great business together and we're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for a period of time.”
The Tiger Woods console series has traditionally been one of EA's safest bets each year, but 2010's version – Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 – has seen sales dramatically down compared to the year before. In June the game was tracking 68 per cent behind year-on-year Tiger Woods 10 in 2009.
Following the star's much publicised transgressions” last year a number of key sponsors including Gillette, AT&T, Tag Heuer, Accenture and Gatorade chose to terminate their advertising relationships with him.
Then in October this year Tiger Woods lost his position was world No.1 to England's Lee Westwood. Prior to that Tiger had held the crown for a record-breaking 281 consecutive weeks.