Why Tiger Woods Makes More Than Teachers

“It’s not so much a ripple effect as it is a tsunami. The aura is gone.” A former CBS executive in this story about Tiger Woods.

 From executive pay to pay for athletes, people who bag on capitalism always say that teachers should be paid more than athletes and that guys on the line should make close to what the CEO makes. Teachers are valuable perhaps, good teachers are invaluable, no doubt. Let’s stipulate it right now. But one teacher out of many during a lifetime has much less effect on a kid than one an athlete, Tiger Woods, has on his sport. And the guy on the line makes widgets, but the strategic thinking in the corner office may make them more valuable.
The point? These folks earn what they get. If a teacher doesn’t work the district gets a sub, if Tiger doesn’t work people lose their jobs. And here’s the proof with one example: Tiger Woods.
Quoting supporting data and experts, this is what  Bloomberg (here) reports will be the loss while Tiger is off tending to his mistresses and parrying his wife’s divorce attorney:

Tournament crowds may be 20 percent smaller
Television audiences may shrink by half.
 Nike could lose more than $30 million in sales [that’s Oregon jobs, folks]
The PGA Tour’s ad revenue may be off by 40% if he stays out entire year.
Merchandise sales at PGA Tour events will drop.*
Prize money may go down or stagnate.**
Charity events will lose money. ***

 *The PGA Tour, with 2008 total revenue of $981 million, runs merchandise booths that usually sell out of the Nike garb he wears for a given day. Before Tiger, sales totaled about $300 million, according to the tour.

**Woods’s presence has helped prize money quadruple to almost $280 million in 2009 from $70 million in 1997, his first full professional season.

***He used his celebrity to stage charity tournaments such as this month’s Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, California. In 2007, the tour raised $124 million for charity, up from $40 million in 1996.

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