Well…I think I will write some quick thoughts on Tiger Woods, since he is an icon after all and design does seem to follow him around a bit.
This is slightly off topic, however, I felt compelled to introduce a concept that many are not talking about and deserves some consideration. There is a relationship between major cultural icons, advertising, marketing, design and the human experience. I think we are seeing some of this unfold here…
If you are a public figure that makes all of their money being in the spotlight, then I am sorry, you do subject yourself to the spotlight (still) regardless if you feel that you are shown well in that light (or not).
Nike, Accenture, Gatorade, TagHeuer, American Express…all jumped onto the Tiger Inc. bandwagon because he was very good at hitting a little white ball around. Well, of course, they want a solid, upstanding gentleman who is also of course a winner. They shaped and formed this icon into this perfect human being.
However, we all know that humans are not perfect…but regardless, advertisers still create ads with beautiful women (hide the airbrush please) and create a powerful reaction of envy. This reaction is one of the components leading to the purchase of "X" (enter product or service here). This is no secret…
It is effective, that is why some are able to rake in $100,000,000 dollars worth of endorsements per year.
But humans aren't perfect. This also isn't a secret.
So…Tiger, you are human after all. Great…welcome! There is nothing wrong with being human…we all do make mistakes. Please do us all a favor and just admit to mistakes and talk to us as other human beings (we are actually a very forgiving race). I am not interested at all in some Tiger, Inc. manufactured BS like a post on your website or a "blame it on a disease/disorder" kind of thing, where you get "relieved" from some foreign ailment that you are not really accountable for.
How do you combat this contradiction of Tiger?
People think you are a hypocrite because of this manufactured image of who you really aren't. That is major corporate advertising creating that image. That isn't you. Maybe you have been so focused on golf for so long and constantly led down this path of sponsorship, that you never had the chance to even find out who you really are. Who knows? Again, you are a human being and making mistakes is not a bad thing…it is perfectly normal.
Talk to us authentically about the situation. Sure, you'll lose a few endorsements…but you will easily replace them with companies who's customers value authenticity. But that isn't much of a concern. You have more than enough dough to last several lifetimes. The main impact, and I hope this gets to you one way or another, is that you are able to reach people who really did look up to this "perfect" human (especially children) and learn that envy is indeed ignorance…that everyone is human and everyone makes mistakes. Furthermore, they will understand that being "the best" at something doesn't always equal happiness (in fact, it might be at the expense of happiness or balance in your life)…or having a ton of money doesn't always equal happiness…but being true to yourself and maintaining your integrity (as imperfect as that might be) is more important than anything.