AT&T Got Out of Tiger Woods Contract Scot-Free

AT&T Inc. (T) got to walk away from Tiger Woods and the golfer’s tarnished reputation without paying a penny.

That’s according to a report on Wednesday from the New York Times. The paper quotes a company official who confirmed the telco giant did not have to pay to end its sponsorship with Woods, or go to court over the matter.

Technically, AT&T owed Woods millions of dollars for ending the contract. But Woods and his agent apparently released AT&T from any requirements, a source familiar with the dealing told the New York Times.

AT&T on New Year’s Eve dropped Woods as its spokesman, even though AT&T had never put Woods in any advertising. The company did, though, put its name on Woods’s golf bag and backed his Tiger Jam charity event.

The service provider washed its hands of Tiger after his infidelity scandal came to light and dominated the tabloids. Consulting firm Accenture was the first sponsor to cut off Woods and it wasn’t long before AT&T followed suit.

A sports agency expert told the New York Times that Woods and his agent likely did not want to force any unhappy sponsors to stick around, especially if they would not be using him to market their goods.

It’s hard to say for certain what transpired, though, because the details of Woods’ contract are not public. The New York Times pointed out that if AT&T and Accenture had been forced to sue to get out of their deals, Woods probably would have to give embarrassing testimony about his multiple encounters.

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