Tiger's image is still in need of repair

February 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
With Tiger Woods' statement Friday morning, he is beginning the process of repairing his image and returning to the game, but many question to what extent will he be, can he be, successful-- given how far he's fallen?

Sports fans can be the toughest critics, but so can consumers.

At the Bay Area Autograph Experience and Sports Card Show in San Jose, Tiger Woods memorabilia is available, but it is not in high demand.

"We didn't bring much stuff, because we didn't know if it would sell," says Mike Corrie from the Teammates Store.

This annual trade show is a sports collector's dream and vendors from all over come equipped with their hottest sellers: jerseys, autographed photos, and trading cards.

"I have everyone in there but Tiger Woods," says vendor Anthony Dovine.

Tiger Woods has been a money loser for dealers since his scandal broke and Friday was no different.

"Not a person in this room going to sell a Tiger Woods card for any more money because he said I'm sorry," says Dovine.

Sports fans also agree. They are not buying Tiger's apology or his products.

"It doesn't take two months to come back with an apology," says Mary Ann Incardona from Los Banos.

When asked if he thought if the apology would make a difference Dave Cadelina from San Jose said "No, I don't think so."

That raises the question of why Tiger publicly apologized now. Dan Hampton is a former Chicago Bear, hall of famer, and commentator who is sure Tiger's apology was not his idea.

"The advertising dollar is God almighty in the world of sports and so when the handlers say 'Jump,' Tiger went out there and jumped," says Hampton.

Hampton says Tiger makes roughly $10 million a year, on the course, and another $150 million through advertisements.

Though some sponsors dropped their affiliation with Tiger, Nike did not. On Friday, the company said, "Tiger has apologized and made his position clear. Nike fully supports him and his family."

And in the place where Tiger and his fans feel most connected -- on the golf course -- reaction was mixed.

"It did make me feel better in a way and I'm just glad he's back out in public," says Bryan Kim, a golfer from Saratoga.

"He's going to do what he's going to do. He probably doesn't regret it too much," says Liz Bergschneider from Santa Clara.

One more thing Hampton said was he does think Tiger will get his image back, but it won't happen overnight -- he expects it take about three years.