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    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    Reuters - FACTBOX: Sponsors stand by Tiger Woods after apology

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    FACTBOX: Sponsors stand by Tiger Woods after apology

    Wednesday, Dec 02, 2009 6:53PM UTC

    (Reuters) - Golfer Tiger Woods, engulfed in media speculation over his private life after a car accident in the middle of the night, apologized on Wednesday for "transgressions" in a statement that apparently addressed allegations he had extra-marital relationships.

    Several sponsors, who collectively pay Woods about $100 million a year to tout their products and services, said later on Wednesday their relationships would not change with one of the most recognized athletes in the world.

    ELECTRONIC ARTS INC:

    "Our strong relationship with Tiger for more than a decade remains unchanged. We respect Tiger's privacy, we wish him a fast recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on the golf course," the company said in a statement.

    TLC VISION CORP:

    "Tiger Woods is important to TLC Vision. Our relationship with him continues without change. This is a private matter and we have no further comment," the company said in a statement.

    DAVID SOKOL, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY'S NETJETS INC UNIT:

    "Tiger Woods is one of the premiere athletes in the world and we are proud to have him involved with NetJets."

    PEPSICO INC'S GATORADE UNIT:

    "Tiger and his family have our support as they work through this private matter. Our partnership continues," the company said in a statement.

    PROCTER & GAMBLE'S GILLETTE UNIT:

    "At this time, we are not making any changes to our existing marketing programs. As a matter of policy, we don't comment on future marketing plans," the company said in a statement.

    NIKE INC:

    "Nike supports Tiger and his family. Our relationship remains unchanged," the company said in a statement.

    Officials with AT&T Inc, Accenture, Tag Heuer, and Upper Deck could not be reached for comment.

    (Reporting by Ben Klayman in New York; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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    Statement issued: Tiger Woods admits to 'transgressions'

    Tiger Woods says he has let his family down and regrets those "transgressions."

    His comments came after Us Weekly magazine published a cover story alleging that a Los Angeles cocktail waitress had a 31-month affair with the world's No. 1 golfer.

    Jaimee Grubbs told the magazine she met Woods at a Las Vegas nightclub the week after the 2007 Masters two months before Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, gave birth to their first child. Grubbs claims to have proof in 300 text messages.

    Wednesday morning, the magazine published what it said was a voicemail provided by Grubbs that she said was left by Woods on Nov. 24, three days before his early morning car crash outside his home near Orlando.

    Woods issued the following statement on his website tigerwoods.com:

    "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.

    Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.

    But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.

    Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it's difficult.

    I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."

    ***

    Contributing: The Associated Press

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