How have Tiger Woods's mysterious car accident, rumors of separation with his wife, and months of silence affected consumers' views of him? According to a recent study by the NPD Group, consumers—especially younger people—are still buying (and in some instances buying more) Woods-related products.
The NPD Group surveyed 44,000 consumers between December 16 and January 5 to see if Woods's scandal affected their purchasing habits. "The good news for Tiger is that basically, 89 percent of consumers said they have no intention of changing their behavior based on his actions," says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group and author of the study.
Some consumers said their view of Woods has been affected, but many said they still buy products associated with Woods. Only 31 percent of respondents said they have a much lower opinion of Woods today than before his driving accident (compared with 44 percent who said their view hasn't changed), while 23 percent of respondents said they purchased products that they recognize are endorsed by or associated with Tiger Woods. "That scores more than twice as high as almost any other celebrity-endorsed range of products," Cohen says.
The study also found that Woods is much more popular among young people. Only 5 percent of respondents said they plan to cut back or eliminate any products that Woods endorses, and most of that group is made up of respondents age 45 or older, according to Cohen. Ironically, 2 percent of respondents (primarily those ages 18 to 25) said they actually planned to buy more Woods-related products. "The power of Tiger is still substantially greater than almost any celebrity out there today," Cohen says. "The guy is like a superhero. Yeah, he got close to the kryptonite, but it didn't take him down."
Today's remarks by Woods are expected to be brief. Only a handful of reporters will be allowed to attend, and none will be allowed to ask questions. Woods will address reporters at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. A statement on Woods's website says, "Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future, and he plans to apologize for his behavior. … He wants to begin the process of making amends, and that's what he's going to discuss."