As noted earlier
, EA has decided to continue its relationship with Tiger Woods. Peter Moore's Blog
has the official statement on this, saying "Our relationship with Tiger has always been rooted in golf" (apparently all the other sponsors who have cut ties with the randy golfer had relationships rooted in marital fidelity). The full statement follows.
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. At EA SPORTS, we’ve been particularly attentive because for the past year, we have been in full development of a new and highly innovative, online golf game. 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.
This decision will no doubt create some attention and further speculation about Tiger Woods, and about his relationship with sponsors. With that in mind, 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. 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.