The chronicles of Tiger continue daily with the Mistress countdowns and porn star exposés that are contributing to the collapsing public opinion of a global sports icon. The financial impact hits whole industries – the PGA, Tiger’s sponsors, and the TV networks all relied on Tiger as the drawing card.
This is a case of tipping point media. Mass media will only jump on sensational stories when they’re credible. Once that happens, the social media takes over with the notorious confessionals by otherwise un-famous people. That’s probably one reason why Tiger practiced tight media control… it’s easy to quash one-off rumors when there isn’t a bandwagon of story pursuers. Tiger’s surprise announcement of “transgressions” after the car crash positioned him as fair game for all media.
Tiger is a defining moment in celebrity reputation management. Celebrities will now have to think very carefully about doing questionable things with other people because they have a media mouthpiece – themselves, and a reason to use it for attracting attention.