Woods needs eye of the tiger to keep EA deal

30 Nov 2010

Electronic Arts (EA) Sports’ chief executive has said there is no threat against golf star Tiger Woods being dropped from his contract.

Chief executive John Riccitiello made the announcement at the recent Reuters Global Media Summit, but warned that the former world No 1 golfer needs to improve his form in major tournaments.

Woods has had beleaguered form since a very public bustup with his wife, which resulted in a lawsuit – the events of which mean he has yet to win a tournament since the incident and has lost his title of world No 1.

A conditional return to form

Despite this, EA insists on sticking by him and will release a 2012 version of its popular EA Tiger Woods PGA Tour golfing simulation games, which are available on the Xbox, PS3, PSP, and Nintendo Wii, on the condition he rekindles his form.

Riccitiello told Reuters that while the company had no plans to move away, the relationship with Woods is based on business. “It’s a business relationship on the basis of we make the best golfing game and he’s the best golfer … both these things need to be true in the long run for the partnership to make sense.”

Energy drink firm Gatorade ended its sponsorship of Woods in February this year and Gillette suspended its advertising following the golfer’s personal issues. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power revealed that Woods had declined a $75m endorsement deal with them.