The damage to Tiger Woods’ image following his self-confessed “transgressions” will not effect his future earning capacity, according to PR guru Max Clifford.
New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, accused of having an affair with Woods, cancelled a planned press conference yesterday amid reports she had negotiated a million-dollar deal to remain silent about her alleged relationship with the world number one.
Woods, 33, had previously issued an astonishing apology for “personal sins and failings” amid speculation about his private life following a car crash outside his Florida home last week.
“It will obviously change the way people see him, he’s always been the epitome of the family man, someone you wouldn’t dream was doing what he seemingly has been doing,” said Clifford.
“Will it do him damage? Yes. Will it cause him grief? Yes.
“But it will not change his earning capacity or sponsorship deals as long as he continues to be the world’s best golfer, because that is why everybody wants him.
“It won’t stop people wanting to watch him play golf.”
Clifford has first-hand experience of sporting scandal after managing Rebecca Loos’ expose of her affair with David Beckham in 2004.
“For a good looking major athlete, to be seen having an affair doesn’t tarnish the image,” Clifford added.
“The one obvious example is David Beckham. Did it damage him? Not one little bit.
“There was an immediate storm and it lasted for quite a few weeks, but other than cause him a lot of embarrassment and problems at home, it didn’t hurt him in a financial sense.
“People predicted the loss of sponsorship deals but that didn’t materialise.”
However, Clifford expects opportunists to come forward with claims of relationships with Woods in the next few days after revealing he has received an approach.
“We have already had someone contact us who has claimed to have had an affair with him,” said Clifford. “Now it’s open season.”