Tiger Woods says on his personal website he is taking an indefinite break from professional golf. Wish the man well as he tries to be a “better husband, father, and person”
It also gives his sponsors a graceful out – after all, if he is not going to be playing, why keep up the sponsorship? Much easier to exit now than have to use messy moral values as the reason.
But it will not help Accenture much. Tiger is part of their physical infrastructure and marketing collateral all around the world. It will take them months to completely unravel from this. I saw Brian Sommer earlier this week. He used to be an Accenture partner and told me he had raised with his alma mater on at least a few occasions the questions he raised in this blog post
I was talking to Paul Kedrosky on another matter this week and he mentioned Charles Perrow’s Normal Accidents – the catastrophes that can result from complex and tightly coupled systems. More than the other sponsors who diversified their celebrities, Accenture was “tightly coupled” with Tiger.
Accenture has long built in expensive exit clauses in its outsourcing contracts with clients. They are now having to themselves pay for a vendor who they allowed to get “lock-in” since the relationship started in 2003.
If I were a client of theirs, I would ask where was Accenture’s “disaster recovery data center”? Where was its “business continuity plan”?
These are top of mind due diligence items they ask of Accenture – but Accenture seems to have neglected to do for itself.
Update: Sunday, 12/13. Accenture cancels Tiger sponsorship and says likely new campaign later in 2010. As I mentioned in my post it will take them quite a while to remove Tiger marks from their offices and collateral.