With divorce an increasingly likely outcome and speculation about a multitude of other ‘sins’, BodogBrand feel they are the only ones who can extend a deal that will be totally unaffected by any non-golf related activity but in fact actively encourages endorsees, employees and customers alike to 'Play Hard.'This is their 3rd offer to Woods, the first two were apparently declined and I wouldn't be surprised if this third one is rejected as well.
Woods has been losing some of his endorsement deals after his affairs came to light. I don't think that's necessarily fair. While I don't condone what he did, he worked hard to get where he is. His endorsement deals were mutually beneficial relationships where corporate sponsors were able to benefit from his accomplishments in exchange for cash. Now that he's facing losing his family some of these backers want to distance themselves. When someone that has done so much for you is in a difficult situation you don't dump more crap on them. At least that's what I think decent people should do.
Anyway back to Bodog....
Bodog currently only has 2 sponsored poker pros. Evelyn Ng and Amanda Musumeci. In recent years Bodog has been cutting down it's pro roster.
Justin Bonomo, who had earned close to $2 million in tournaments while wearing Bodog gear was dropped as Jean-Robert Bellande. After David Williams recent WPT Championship win he announced he would also no longer be with Bodog but I'm not clear which side terminated the relationship.
Bodog is a small poker room with about 1% of the traffic that PokerStars so they're not expected to be able to support a large team of poker pros but you would think they would want to keep some of their better performing players like Bonomo and Williams. Even Bellande seemed to have value with his TV appearances and twitter following.
No disrespect to their current pros (Musumeci was once a micro roller!) but how can you offer a golfer so much money when you keep dropping actual poker players?
Tournament poker is now considered a sport. It's on ESPN for pete's sake! Like other professional sports competitors, poker players want sometimes need endorsement deals. Poker doesn't have the same distinction that other sports have which means sponsors are mainly limited to members of the poker community (poker rooms, poker magazines, poker websites, etc).
You're not going to see Nike, STP, Gillette patches on players at the next WSOP ME final table even though companies that sell deodorant and beef jerky are willing to sponsor the television coverage. Poker pros have a limited pool of sponsorship opportunities and they're not easy to get. To dump 3 poker pros and offer $20 million/year to a non poker player just seems like a slap in the face to the poker community in my view.
I'm really confused by this. Bodog has had a good reputation in the poker community for 15 years. While they're not the biggest site they have put a lot of effort in coming up with great software, they provide excellent customer support, Bodog rakeback and bonuses are generous, online qualifiers to major tournaments like the WSOP and have sponsored a number of players in the past. I'm really hoping they're just doing it for publicity knowing there's no chance he'll sign.