The Face of Golf: Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson

Joe LibrizziContributor IDecember 11, 2009

Tiger or Phil...Phil or Tiger?

That's been the million dollar question but these days it just might be millions in Phil's pocket.  

Tiger sure has had Phil's number on the golf course throughout both their magnificent careers but off the field both have enjoyed huge endorsement deals raking in tens of millions a year.  

Phil earned close to $53 million in 2008—$6.35 million on the course and a cool $46.6 million in endorsements (sponsors include: Barclays, Callaway Golf, ExxonMobil, Golf Digest, Grayhawk, KPMG, PGA Tour, Rolex).

Tiger earned $128 million in 2008—$23 million on the course and an unbelievable $105 million from sponsorship deals last year alone (sponsors include: AT&T, Nike, Gillette, Accenture, EA Sports, Upper Deck, Golf Digest, NetJets, Laser Eye Centers, Upper Deck, PGA Tours, and Tag Heuer).

But will Tiger's sponsors stay with him?  

No, not all of them will.  

Since November 29, two days after his accident, we have not seen a commercial featuring woods on prime-time cable TV—cable and broadcast.  

Gatorade has also decided to drop its Woods-themed sports drink but claims it has nothing to do with the recent accusations.  That's a lie! 

Another Tiger sponsor, Tag Heuer watches, have recently altered their advertising. Tag removed their in-store ads featuring Woods from stores throughout Australia and have also canceled plans to design a titanium professional golf watch with Tiger. 

Both Gatorade and Tag Heuer have both claimed this is just pure coincidence.

Just a coincidence? I think not!

This is just the start to a downward spiral for Tiger.  Other non-sports contracts likely to be taken away from Tiger include American Express and Accenture.  However, if Tiger gets back on the golf course he should keep his Nike and Gillette contracts.

Although new reports are surfacing that Tiger's wife, Elin, has given the best golfer in the world an ultimatum in which he must decide between her or golf. 

What happens to Tiger and his endorsement deals in the future is still unclear but I guarantee it's not going to be pretty for the world's number one golfer. 

Plus companies are going to be throwing even more endorsements at Phil Mickelson. The guy has a perfect image.  Arguably the second best golfer in the world whose been by his wife side during her cancer treatments.  Be prepared to see Phil as the new face of golf and the PGA Tour.  

Tiger or Phil...Phil or Tiger?