Mickelson vs. Woods: Who'll win in the end?

By Aaron Smith, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Phil Mickelson's victory at the 2010 Masters golf tournament presents could send sponsors flocking towards his wholesome family man image in the wake of Tiger Woods many scandals.

Mickelson embraced his cancer-stricken wife after his win in Augusta, Ga., on Sunday, cementing a positive image in polar opposite to Woods and his adulterous ways.

"The perfect tear came down [Mickelson's] eye as he's hugging his wife after winning," said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director for Baker Street Advertising. "I'm sure a lot of advertisers were looking at that and going, 'Huh, maybe this is the guy I should be sinking my millions into instead of Tiger'."

Meanwhile, Woods was swearing on the course and "coming across as a little petulant -- not terribly gracious in defeat," said Dorfman.

Having said that, Woods still managed to come in fourth place at the Masters, proving that he's still got game after taking a hiatus of several months from the sport, said Dorfman.

But, he added, Woods' antics failed to improve his scandalous, womanizing image, which had prompted sponsors, including PepsiCo's (PEP, Fortune 500) Gatorade, Accenture and AT&T (T, Fortune 500), to drop him months ago.

"As you know, we have ended our sponsorship agreement with Tiger Woods," said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel on Monday, when asked if his company had any intention of bringing Woods back into the fold. "We wish him well in the future."

Meanwhile, Mickelson -- already a front man for Callaway Golf, (ELY) Rolex, KPMG and Barclays -- could rake in another $5 million from new endorsements as a direct result of his victory and positive image.

But Mickelson may find it difficult to maintain his new found limelight. Even though he is the second-highest-paid athlete in sports, according to Sports Illustrated, he still doesn't have the name recognition of Woods, who remains a giant and SI's highest-paid athlete.

"[Mickelson] doesn't have the persona, the level of recognition, the level of interest that Woods has," said John Antil, professor of marketing at the University of Delaware. "He doesn't even have the facial recognition. Mickelson really does suffer from being in the shadow of Woods. That's why a person like him needs wins and that center stage in publicity to keep him in the public eye."

Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Marketing Evaluations, which calculates consumer appeal for celebrities, said that Mickelson will probably never achieve the former sponsorship greatness of Woods because "Phil doesn't have that youthful aura that Tiger has."

But Schafer doesn't think that Woods will ever match his former glory, either.

"As far as Tiger goes, the decline that he took is as big as Kobe Bryant years ago, and Kobe's still trying to recover from that, in spite of winning an NBA championship," he said. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,804.80 26.65 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,765.38 16.98 0.36%
S&P 500 2,070.65 9.42 0.46%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.03 -1.27%
Data as of 12:05am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.62 0.09 0.51%
Apple Inc 111.78 -0.87 -0.77%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.48 1.91%
Intel Corp 36.37 -0.65 -1.76%
Microsoft Corp 47.66 0.14 0.29%
Data as of Dec 19

Sections

New York Magazine reporter Jessica Pressler, who has been caught up in controversy this past week, will not be moving on to a new job at Bloomberg News. More

Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More

Forums in dark corners of the web sell the kinds of hacks that befell Sony. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

The income of the top 1% jumped significantly in 2012, far outpacing inflation. Not only did this group make a larger share of the country's income, their share of total taxes also jumped from 35% to 38%. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.