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December 28, 2009

How Much Did Tiger Woods' Transgressions Cost Investors?

Two professors from University of California, Davis estimate the loss to shareholders from Tiger Woods's marital infidelity at up to $12 billion.

The researchers said their study answers the question of whether celebrity sponsorship impacts a firm's bottom line.

"Our analysis makes clear that while having a celebrity of Tiger Woods's stature as an endorser has undeniable upside, the downside risk is substantial, too," said Victor Stango, professor of economics.

Stango and fellow economics professor Christopher Knittel studied the stock market for 13 days after Woods crashed his car on November 27.

The UCD economists compared returns for Woods's sponsors to those of the total stock market and of each sponsor's closest competitor, a UC Davis news release states.

The study focused on nine sponsors: Accenture, American Express, AT&T, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf (Electronic Arts), Gillette, Nike, Gatorade, TLC Laser Eye Centres and Golf Digest.

Shareholder value fell 2.3 per cent - or about $12 billion.

Investors in - Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, Gatorade and Nike - fared the worst, experiencing a 4.3 per cent loss, or about $6 billion.

Note: The pattern of losses is unlikely to stem from ordinary variation of stock prices, the researchers stated in their study.

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