Posted on April 15, 2019
By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter
At 43-years old, Tiger Woods just won the 2019 Masters. Just let that sink in for a moment. His win at Augusta over the weekend was his 15th major championship. He could very easily just head on into retirement now with credentials like that, but we imagine he will keep hitting the links, ready to reassert his dominance in the sport after falling off for the last several years. This win marks the first at Augusta since 2005, and his first major title since 2008, before things began to go downhill.
We won’t go too into detail, but a few years ago Woods found himself on the cover of tabloids for weeks on end amid some personal drama. Sponsors began to leave him behind, setting their sights on someone younger, who wasn’t undergoing multiple back surgeries and frankly just not in the middle of a publicity nightmare. Except for Nike. Nike stuck around through thick and thin, and in the end, it paid off for them. Following the big win, they released a commercial depicting the highs and lows of Woods’ career, complete with a clip of him as a child saying that he’s “gonna beat Jack Nicklaus.” We get the feeling that Nike has had this commercial queued up for quite a few years, but it was definitely worth the wait.
Clearly, Nike saw value in Woods when others didn’t. While others were quick to write him off, they stuck around to give him another chance. As part of your team’s front office, you will be scouting players, watching tape, and formulating your list of must-get players ahead of the draft. Will the fans immediately write off someone a little older or someone with a few surgeries under their belt? We don’t think so. Our fans have seen players succeed in the NFL and MLB into their 40s, so why not give a fair shot to someone with a little more mileage. Now, will the fans shy away from someone with a more “colorful” background? Maybe. They did when we let the fans vote whether or not Greg Hardy should be given a shot on the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles (we all know how that ended). We imagine they might be willing to overlook things from a player’s past if they are 1) an exceptional athlete and 2) changed for the better. At the end of the day, the thing that matters most is how the athlete performs.