January 27th, 2010
01:10 PM ET

Tiger Woods still considered the most powerful athlete

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With all of the rumors, scandalous photos, CGI animated fight scenes and remixes of Tiger Woods’s alleged voicemail message, the golfer still came out on top of Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2010 list of the 100 most powerful athletes.

The reason: Woods dominated on the green in 2009, and as a result has become the king of endorsements like few others have. He’s been the face of Accenture, American Express, Nike and Gillette, and the total of those deals made him $92 million last year, according to the magazine. His total earnings for the year came in at $103 million, and Woods was expected to become the first athlete to earn $1 billion in career earnings before the car crash over the Thanksgiving holiday.

BusinessWeek teamed up with CSE, an integrated and entertainment company, plus two media sports fanatics, Rick Horrow of “The $ports Take” and VP of Horrow Sports Ventures Karla Swatek, to crunch the numbers on “who was making the greatest holistic impact on sports.”

They ranked players in accordance to his or her peers in their respective sport over a two-year period, looking at criteria such as money earned and points scored in that time frame, and then adjusted the ranking depending on the popularity of the athlete as well as the sport overall.

The math gets even more complicated with CSE also calculating “off-field” power, which added up total endorsement income plus the opinions of the public on an athlete’s trustworthiness, appeal, influence and awareness. And yes, after all of that, Woods was the clear winner, followed by LeBron James and Phil Mickelson.

Even if the rumors of Woods’s infidelity had arrived earlier in the year, CSE’s data shows that he still would have been the most powerful athlete of the year. Moving forward though, it’s unlikely that Woods will be able to hold on to his position as he loses endorsement deals and his popularity and trustworthiness factors take a nosedive.

Rounding out the top five most powerful athletes were Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.

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soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Thaddeusb Jelkau

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    July 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Raul

    We all need to stop talking about Tiger. Leave it to him and his wife. It shouldn't come as a surprise that he is still regarded as the most powerful athlete because he is an exceptional golfer. Stay out of his persoanl life because he is a human being, too. Things like this happen.

    January 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. April

    This is to be expected...

    And to all of those who frown upon Tiger Woods, I hope you frown upon the majority of sports atheletes, celebrities, your coworkers, peers, your boss, probably some family members...

    The only difference between this group and Tiger is Tiger got caught. This WILL NOT be the last time we hear about someone's infidelities and transgressions.

    January 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sarah

    He definitely is still the most powerful athlete. Stop Getting Ripped off by Cable and Dish Companies. Stop paying monthly fees. Put that money back in your pocket. Go to http://www.WorldWideTVonPC.com

    January 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jimmbenn

    "let him who is without sin cast the first stone"...What Tiger did was wrong, We (and he) knows that. What the yellow journalists did (are doing) is wrong as well. We should all know that too. Before the scandal I was guilty of putting him on a pedestal. After the scandal I no longer do so. It is shocking for us to realize our heroes are human. I also happen to be a golfer and without a doubt he is the greatest ever inside the ropes. I look forward to seeing him do what he does best soon and I am praying that grace abounds in thier marriage.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Peter

    Golfers are 'athletes' like Extreme food eaters are 'athletes'.

    Give me a break.

    Golfers are 'sportsmen' – and nothing more. And golfers about the most pathetic of them all.

    Any 'sport' where 90% of those who take part are obese, balding, and cannot walk the course on their own legs – and need other adults to carry their equipment – is to be laughed at.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Flor

    you all critics of Tiger are so dead pan jealous of hist alents and wealth that you cannot stop blubbering.
    Tiger will come back as strong as ever . And you critics can jump in the lake.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jo Ann

    I just pray that Elin does not hurt him really bad so as to disable him from playing the sport he loves. Tiger must be careful if he continues living with her given how much he loves and protects her and his children. Mental or physical abuse can affect job performance.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gloria Aldridge

    I think so too, he could be even more popular. That's the way we humans are we become Curious about them (celebrities, movie stars), and become almost obsessed to either understand why they did what they did in what appears to us that they have it all. Or relate to them on a personal level. We failed somewhere along the path of life. We want to get moving again. So we root for them. When he plays again, I will watch where as in the past I could watch golf all of five minutes. That's my ten cents...

    January 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bobby

    He will not be booed by the gallery, sorry but they are the sheep that PAY to see him and populate a forum like this to defend him, why? because he is probably the best ever in the sport and sadly with most people that is all that matters. He is a yellow bellied pig and his wife is a fraud to for staying with the pig. I love how blonde swede let's this guy control her, or lets his money control her, bizarre. Did not take long for Mrs. Edwards to stand up, wake up Elin and be your own person he is not your maker.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MajorTom

    Most skilled athlete or most powerful?

    When I think of someone powerful I don't think of a golfer. Very skilled, however, they are.

    Powerful to me in the context of sports is someone who shows extreme endurance, strength, and will power. How about the winner of the Tour de France for someone who is powerful?

    Tiger Woods? Powerful? No.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. EIWatson

    @Pete – you sound like one self-righteous JACK ASS!

    January 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Essence

    LMAO...some of these comments are so funny, people are really that mad...it didn't even happen to you.....Wow, now go take a look in the mirror please.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gunner

    PETE....pick any sport you want and I bet TIGER kicks your stpid little arse in all of them....he chooses to play golf but ask Michael Jordan or Roger Federer, he excels in pretty much any sport he plays...its called extreme eye-hand co ordination and extreme talent...something I bet you dont have

    January 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. v

    It takes two (2) to make or brake a marriage. I for one think that there is more to this story of his affairs then meets the eye.

    What made him want to step out on his wife? Did she not want to give him some nookie? Was she bad in bed? Was she a WITCH?, etc. I know for sure after being married for 37 years that all the stuff that goes on in a marriage has two sides. Elin has told her side but Tiger has decided that he doesn't want to sling any dirt. It might make him look worse, but then it might make Elin look bad also and that in the end could hurt the children in the long run.

    If everyone would stop talking, printing, anything about this it would go away and all you sorry people that like soap opera in your life could get on with your own life.

    Grow up.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Gary Martinez

    There are a lot of rocks being thrown around here at Tiger Woods. I only know of one man that ever walked this earth that was PERFECT. From what I am reading here I must be wrong!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Gunner

    Jill Hill.......go find out how much Spitzer gives or ever gave to charity...then compare it to Tiger Woods...thats right you cannot!!

    January 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  18. sheilah

    Tigers family issues are between he and his wife and God let them work it out. He doesn't have to answer to this world, however he does have to answer to God. Enough said. He is not a creep. He has been a very good role model to children of all ages. He has made a huge mistake and now everyone wants to hang him on a cross. You see what a mess this world is in now from the last wonderful man we hung on the cross without thinking. We crucified Christ. However, I know Tiger is not Christ. But if this were not Tiger would everybody be paying so much attention to him and who care what color the girls skin was, they knew he was married, they are just a guilty as he is. They were just trying to dip into his wallett, you really think they want to play mommy to his children or be a wife? Not they were there for exactly what they are getting now the attention and they chance to taint the man's reputation, and yes I am quite aware he guilty also. However, I forgive him.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Disappointed in MA

    He once was a powerful athlete but now he's a low-life....like John Edwards. They both should be put on an island somewhere.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jill Hill

    Elliot Spitzer gets caught in one indiscretion and his political career is over. Tiger Woods gets caught in a web of dozens of them and everyone is cheering on his comeback. At least Spitzer actually did something that benefits this world.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  21. George Sales

    Hey Rob, dominant in his sport and rich for life? That's your ideal for what? A sad, pathetic human being? Golf is a dying sport with way to much exposure. As for Tiger, he's an idiot for thinking his texts wouldn't be found by his wife.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  22. gb920

    To Pete...I'm sure if you had even half the money he does and as many women trying to get with you, you would probably end up the same as Tiger. No one can deny this. No matter how much you love your spouse, when you have that much money and women drooling for you, you would eventually break. I'm not saying it's not wrong, but he is only human like the rest of us.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Michael Hsu

    does the writer mean most powerful below the waist?

    January 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  24. jeff

    come on people tiger issue is between him and his wife.........bottom line

    January 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |

    This will show the moral decay that has been going on for years, to forgive is fine. To act like a dog is something else, society is suckered by PR to think because a guy can play a sport better than anyone else he is a living god. He is neither and we all know there is no god.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Sebastian

    Why is everyone shocked that Tiger Woods is a creep? He takes child labor money from Nike who doesn't make anything but just imports sweatshop sneakers and then pours all of their ill-gotten gains into brand-building through advertising deals with soulless prostitutes like Jordan and Woods; he is in a business partnership with Chevron who probably has the worst human rights and environmental record on earth- including propping up the nightmarish dictatorship in Burma, forced labor, murder and rape and torture on their overseas pipelines; designed the golf course for Dubai which is a city pretty much built on slave labor, etc. He's been a soulless, self-centered creep for years.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  27. 2by8

    pete you are a jealous and an envious person people like you do more and have more indescretions than most humans. You hide behind a false mask you look in the mirror and you really do not like what you see.
    Tiger works hard for his money trains hard didn't take no money from you but yet you feel you can just say anything.
    I hope your hands are clean.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  28. inmbac

    Let's be real why trash the man ,the women knew he was
    married and I really blame the hussies, but! thank you Tiger
    for not exploiting the black woman ...Yea one for us! It's all about
    them. I am not ashame he didn't mess over us.. think about it....

    They (white woman)did exactly what the white man didn't want to happen! Now they are all on TV looking stupid Duh... Me too! me too!

    Thanks again!!! and on that note I respect him.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Futon Torpedo

    Comments from the haters are not suprising. You all probably didn't like him then and now you have a great excuse to hate him. Big deal, he will be back... break the Golden Bear's record and then go on into history as the one to beat.

    Hate on if you wish.... his legacy in regards to what happens on the greens will be set.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Frank

    "don't text me back till tomorrow morning. I have to many people around me right now"

    "send me something very naughty"

    "go to the bathroom and take it"

    – Tiger Woods

    January 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Mikw

    Tiger is not an Athlete, golf is not a sport it is a game...quit giving this guy all the attention...It does not matter what tiger does anymore, most people have lost respect for him..Including myself...Lets not forget that people in there 70's and 80's play golf... The Media needs to give it up and quit glorifiying this guy....I still say Jack is the best golfer of all time..When we all find out that Tiger has been taking peformance inhanceing drugs like HGH we will all look at him as though he is Mark McGuire or Barry Bonds...

    January 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  32. jaylee

    I totally agree with Pete.

    Tiger is not an athlete and golf is not a sport.
    Golf is like a leisure casual walk through a city park, drinking a cold one on a hot summer day.
    A toddler can swing a club and putt it into a hole (as we have seen from Tigers taped sessions when he was a toddler).
    Even a 1yr old can putt a little white ball into the little hole.
    If you think golf is a sport, then your weekend trip to the nearest putt putt course would be a serious work out!!.

    Put any golfer on a basketball court, a baseball or football field, or hockey rink and see how well they handles the bumps and bruises.

    The fact that anyone admires this egomaniac is ridiculous!!

    January 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  33. George

    Back in 1991 majic johnson admitted to affars with 31 women while married and conracted HIV!!! Look at him now a hero how soon we forget

    January 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Rob

    Bottom line is all you women and men can call him, loser, idiot, scumbag etc. He will remain with his wife, he will remain popular with males of the demographic Dave mentioned and all those companies that dropped him endorsing their products will try and coz up to him again.....idiot, scumbag, crybaby or not.....it is what it is and he is what we thought he is......dominant in his sport and rich for life............

    January 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Paul

    You don't have the power to destroy anyone's hero there Pete, nice ego though, pal.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Chip Pierce

    Keep in mind that Woods has miraculously morphed into a very muscular man of late. Could it be that he cheated? No, not Tiger.
    Why was he getting personal visits to his home from a Canadian Dr., known to peddle cutting-edge performance enhancing drugs?
    I hope Woods is booed from the gallery.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Mary

    He is a pig.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Ballz

    The phrase "most powerful athlete"...is it to mean strongest and toughest? (no, I saw his 'street' photo-op that ran in the magazines) I'd say it's to mean powerful in the way that folks are willing to look the other way when it comes to him tapping 1,200 (or whatever the real number is, it doesnt matter anyway) women since he started making money playing golf and that the industry would probably get over it if he sucks it up and gets back together with the wife.
    Gaaaahhhh...who cares anyway
    I hope the golf world lets him back into people's hearts so he can do what he likes to do and not just have to be bored with all those millions of dollars and having his way with some Swedish twins over the weekend
    Bottom line is – leave them alone because who really cares anyhow? Let the family heal on its own

    January 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Chip Pierce

    James – Tiger Woods is no genius. He'll be the first one to tell you that.
    He's wealthy because throngs of idiots idolize him.
    People throw the 'genius' term around way too often.
    DaVinci was a genius – not a guy who hits a ball with a stick well.
    Remember, that's all Woods does (other than be a total scumbag of a human being) – hit a ball with a stick. Big deal.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  40. sharon

    Oh, good grief. That's because the picks were decided upon by a whole mess of Mel Gibson's who ask "hasn't everyone done something in their life that they're a little bit ashamed of"? Yeah probaly, but not with nineteen different somebodies. What a crock!!

    January 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  41. dcfq

    typical journalism or lack of it.
    you forgot to mention it's the united states most "powerful".
    i'm sure Beckham and Federer would laugh to read this column.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Pete

    OK, what is Man-slughter? And what do you mean he has regards for his wife? Are you serious? He cheated on her with 13 women!! He is the poster child for cheating husband! Sorry to destroy your hero there pal, but face it, he's an idiot.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Lori

    Hardly, David. Times have changed. Uncool is uncool not matter what your age. What he did was uncool and uncool does not sell.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Pete

    Personally speaking, an athlete is someone who does a lot more than swing a gold club. An athlete is a football player, baseball player, hockey and basketball. A golfer? Not really. Despite the fact that this guy is a piece of garbage, I would still not consider him an athlete. He is an ego driven cry baby. Now go back to your sex therapy class.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Gregory Leftwich

    If Tiger Woods can manage this episode of infidelity within his family .... not the public .... and go back to golf as the same intimidating, overpowering player he was .... he will still be sought out by endorsers.

    Neither the car accident, nor his "indiscretions" have affected his ability to hit a golf ball. He could win 1 Master every 2 years and still be head-n-shoulders above the rest of the players.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  46. James

    Tiger Wood is and will continue to be successful in any field he chooses! How many people become "Billionaires" at age 33?
    Yes, Golf helped get him there; But he's also a genious business person.

    Also, He has great regard for his family choosing not to file charges against his wife, Elin, for probable Man-slughter.

    His wife and the PGA will be most benifited if the Media Pimps leave well enough alone.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  47. grandma

    Tiger's target audience may have been you to middle age men but he reached so many more than that. I for one hope he is back on ;the scene soon. We all forget that we are human and to forgive is devine.
    I am old enough to say that he has had an effect on his sport that is unequaled. I blame most of the problems on the news media. They have hurt more individuals through reporting than they have helped. Stick to things you know positively and not possibilities.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  48. jeanne

    just like spring...tiger is right around the corner and in the air......patience everyone it's/he's coming......he will play stronger and be a better person......it's gonna be pretty cool to see someone who was so down to stand up and shake off...more stars and publicity hungry idiots should take he and his wifes stand.....keep quiet and keep everyone out of you business......works like a charm everytime....

    January 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  49. David

    You have to remember that Tiger's target audience is young to middle age men, his indiscretions will not negatively impact his popularity with this demographic. If anything, his image was to clean earlier, dollars to donuts says that Tiger becomes even more popular and the companies that dropped him will come crawling back to him

    January 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |

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