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Tiger Woods Divorce, Barclays Golf Tournament- Lessons from the venerable Sport of Golf!

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Posted on August 25, 2010 by admin

Barclay’s Golf Tournament and Tiger Wood’s Divorce are making big headlines this week. Everyone from ABC News to TMZ are covering the Golfing Stars tumultuous personal life. Meanwhile Jim Furyk’s oversleeping disqualification has him leading off  a top ten list of worst money making athlete mistakes. The list of athletes includes not 1 but 2 golfers (with Tiger claiming the #1 spot). Earlier this year, created one of their infamous infographics about what they dubbed the “Tiger Wood’s Economy“.

The business of Golf is booming and Tiger Wood’s is the much touted reason for this success . What lessons can you learn for your small business from the meteoric rise of this once more humble sport? What can you learn from Tiger’s very public troubles and successes?

Lesson #1: People need someone to cheer for…

Tiger Woods is no doubt the face of the modern golf movement. His presence on the court increases ratings 20 – 50% which in turn drives more sponsorships and ad revenue to the tournaments.  Tiger is likable, he has a great personal story and he brought a face to a sport that hadn’t had a  “hero” in several decades.

Regardless of whether you are reinvigorating a million dollar sports industry or trying to sell cupcakes like Kara of Kara’s Cupcakes your business will benefit from having a real likable person at the helm. People build relationships with people, and using your own likable story and image for your business will help people to build a lasting relationship with you and with your business. In the technology era, this is easier and easier to do with options like Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs and easy website customization to help you to tell your story. Show people why you are so passionate about what you do, why you love your work and why they should pick you and your business!

Lesson #2: Success doesn’t make you bulletproof

The media backlash and loss of sponsorships as a result of Tiger’s highly publicized divorce is still rippling, and although there is no doubt that Tiger is still a force to be reckoned with the loss of major sponsorships equals a loss of serious profits for his personal brand.

When you build your professional brand around yourself as a person, it’s important that your brand (and therefore your personal life!) stay true to your brands statement and mission. You never know just how valuable that “social capital” can be!

Lesson #3: People will try new things for someone they like.

This relates back to #1 in a big way, once people are cheering for you then you can parlay that into a useful audience. Those 20-50% increase in ratings come from people who otherwise wouldn’t watch golf if it weren’t for Tiger. That means that Tiger turned his personal likability into something profitable. You most likely already have something great to offer in your business, how much more desirable would it be if people like you?

Unfortunately, the overarching theme of Tiger’s lessons for business is about the power of popularity. If people like you, they may be more willing to like your business. It may feel like high school, but in this competitive market you and your personal story are a valuable asset which can and should be leveraged to help you attract and retain customers!

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