Athletes in Scandal and Endorsement Deals
All civilizations have celebrated the athletic achievements of their most accomplished citizens, from the ancient Greeks contesting the first Olympic Games to the jousting knights of medieval Europe, and societies have typically rewarded their most elite athletes with superior status, financial incentives, and social standing. Within the realm of modern American athletics, our nation’s unique blend of personal liberty and capitalistic ambition has long created a class of professional athletes who are revered as heroic figures and who are compensated commensurately. The multi-million dollar guaranteed contracts which are now de rigueur for American athletics are also accompanied by lucrative endorsement deals which are lavished on the most famous players within each sport or league. While the phenomenon of private companies paying athletes to publically endorse products is nothing new, as Babe Ruth proved during his heyday in the 1920’s by shilling for everything from cigarettes to candy bars, the advent of television and internet technology has enabled athletes to endorse far more products on a far greater scale than ever before. While the attainment of physical prowess and the pursuit of healthy competition once formed the foundation of athletics in this country, today young athletes in every sport aspire not to win championships, but to secure shoe contracts and television appearances. The relationship between athletes and the companies they represent can be fraught with ethical concerns during the best of times, but as the recent scandals involving Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, world class golfer Tiger Woods, and acclaimed cyclist Lance Armstrong have proven, the intertwining of athletics and avarice can result in extremely complex ethical dilemmas.
After a British tabloid published photographs in 2009 depicting Phelps in the act of smoking marijuana, the multiple gold medal winner faced a backlash from endorsers who hoped to capitalize on Phelps’ wholesome image after a successful run at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The breakfast cereal conglomerate Kellogg elected to remove Phelps from its company roster of athlete endorsers in the wake of his marijuana photograph scandal, removing his image from boxes of its Frosted Flakes brand. While Phelps’ apparent use of recreational drugs did not constitute a doping or performance enhancement violation, Kellogg spokeswoman Susanne Norwitz issued a statement which asserted that “Michael’s most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg” (Connor, 2009) as explanation for the company’s decision. The loss of his endorsement deal with Kellogg ultimately cost Phelps an estimated $10 million annually, as well as diminishing his appeal to other companies seeking to associate themselves with Olympic athletes during the post-Beijing marketing bonanza. Conversely, Phelps’ other sponsors chose to honor their endorsement commitments, with major companies including Speedo, Visa and Omega opting to stand behind the embattled swimming star.
Another widely publicized instance in which major companies distanced themselves from an athlete endorser embroiled in a personal scandal occurred in 2009, when the top ranked golfer in the world, Tiger Woods, was involved in an automobile accident that ultimately resulted in revelations of infidelity. With the lurid details of Woods’ multiple affairs making headlines throughout both the business world and the sport of golf, the once highly prized endorser endured significant damage to his public image. Parents who had previously outfitted their children in Tiger Woods branded golf apparel were understandably repelled by allegations of serial infidelity, and soon many of Woods’ most longstanding sponsors were subjected to immense external and internal pressures regarding his status as the most highly compensated endorser in the world. As CNN Money reported recently in an article documenting Woods’ fall from his rank as the highest paid athlete endorser in the world, observing that “Woods’ scandal cost him several high-profile sponsors, most notably Pepsico’s Gatorade, which ended its deal with Woods in February 2010” while also noting that “he also lost partnerships with General Motors’ Buick, Proctor and Gamble’s Gillette razors, and AT&T” (Isidore, 2012). The same article also calculated that “Woods’ estimated endorsement income fell to $54.5 million in 2011 from $60 million in 2010 and $92 million in 2009, the year that ended with his well-publicized sex scandal” (Isidore, 2012), a reduction representing over 40% of the golfer’s endorsement-derived income. While many companies decided that Woods’ endorsement had lost its previous sense of value and dropped him from their overall advertising campaigns, his most influential sponsor, the Nike shoe company that pays Woods an estimated $35 million annually, maintained their mutually beneficial business relationship.
The vastly different reactions of these corporate entities, which ostensibly share a similar set of interests when choosing to sign a particular athlete as a representative, demonstrate the normative ethical entanglements which can arise when competition and commerce collide. When an athlete commits a crime or otherwise violates the law, the consumer market is typically supportive of companies which elect to end those sponsorship deals, but during personal scandals like those that entangled Phelps and Woods, the public appears to prefer that the same companies mind their proverbial business. The varied responses to criminal conduct vs. personal peccadilloes represent an expression and an extension of the American ideals of privacy and individual liberty, proving that the average person is willing to indulge in hero worship if and only if the athletes they revere are held to the same set of standards. Succumbing to marital strife, sexual temptation, or recreational drug use are all common flaws and foibles that the public is willing to forgive, and in these instances corporations and companies are well within their ethical and pragmatic purview to maintain loyalty to embattled endorsers. However, when an athlete’s transgressions involve cheating the spirit of competition, or breaking the laws we all must subscribe to, companies have every right to sever their sponsorship ties. Confirmation of this theory can be found in the most recent headlines, which trumpet the “commercial fallout from doping allegations against Lance Armstrong & #8230; as Nike Inc., RadioShack Corp., Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Trek bikes and Giro helmets, and others distanced themselves from the former cycling champ” (Albergotti, O’Connell & Vrancia, 2012), after the former Tour de France champion was found to be guilty of widespread doping violations over the span of his once storied career.
Connor, T. (2009, February 05). Kellogg’s to drop michael phelps from endorsements over bong photo. New York Daily News. Retrieved from http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-02- 05/news/17916861_1_phelps-agent-puresport-michael-phelps
Albergotti, R., O’Connell, V., & Vrancia, S. (2012, October 18). Armstrong gets dumped: Nike, radioshack, others distance themselves from cyclist amid drug scandal. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444868204578062313532317222.html
Isidore, C. (2012, July 17). Tiger woods no longer top-paid athlete. CNN Money, Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/17/news/economy/tiger-woods-pay/index.htm
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more