(NNPA) - Tiger Woods used to be discussed as the "world's most marketable athlete." That's still the case, but the conversation has changed.
Intense media scrutiny following Woods' car accident in November has now forced the married golfer to take a break from the sport after he admitted to having extramarital affairs with up to reportedly a dozen women. He has since taken an indefinite leave from the sport to focus on his family. As such, many of Woods' corporate sponsors have also begun to re-evaluate their marketing relationship with their superstar client.
Companies such as AT&T and Gillette have decided to distance themselves stating they are supporting Woods' request for privacy. They have suspended endorsements that involve him.
"As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs," Gillette said in a statement.
Telecommunications giant AT&T offered its support to Woods and his family but did confirm that it is evaluating their "ongoing relationship."
Accenture, the largest consulting firm in the world, already announced that it will terminate its sponsorship agreement with Woods after six years.
"For the past six years, Accenture and Tiger Woods have had a very successful sponsorship arrangement and his achievements on the golf course have been a powerful metaphor for business success in Accenture's advertising," Accenture said in a statement posted on its website. "However, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising."
Coincidentally, PepsiCo has dropped Gatorade Tiger, its Tiger Woods-affiliated Gatorade product, from its lineup. The company maintains that the decision is not due to the Woods scandal but rather poor sales.
Woods other major sponsors include Nike, Tag Heuer and EA Sports.
Before the scandal, Woods made an estimated $770 million dollars in endorsements and winnings over 12 years and was well on his way to becoming the world's first billionaire athlete, according Golf Digest.
"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," Woods wrote on his website on Friday. "I would like to ask everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors, for their understanding. What's most important now is that my family has the time, privacy, and safe haven we will need for personal healing."
He continued by writing, "After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person."