Nike, Woods: Winning takes care of everything

Does it? Earlier today, I wrote about David Petraeus’ strategy to rebuild his public image by publicly apologizing for the personal scandal that forced him to resign as CIA Director last fall.  The legendary military strategist chose a straightforward path towards atonement, which was an expression of humility and remorse.

Tiger Woods and Nike have charted a different course, as CBS reported this morning:

Advertising Age’s Abbey Klaasen says this campaign has “swagger,” but will swagger work for Woods in this instance? Klaasen says this is part of modern sports culture, which is certainly true — but Tiger Woods wasn’t just a sports star.  He was a cultural phenomenon, a household name in a sport that produces almost no other household names.  That massive popularity wasn’t based on “swagger,” it was based on a much different kind of persona.  If he’s planning to regain that iconic popularity, “swagger” about winning doesn’t sound like a great plan to get there — although perhaps Nike and Woods are just accepting the fact that Woods’ scandal will never allow him that kind of comeback, which seems odd to me.

Besides, as Klaasen adds at the end, that “swagger” has to be backed up by some actual winning, and not just in secondary events.