Tiger Woods has not been the best golfer in the world for about half a decade now. For a period of about 8 to 9 years, Woods was the game of golf. He owned it. He was being hailed as the greatest ever, and for the period of time he ruled the sport, he probably was. When you consider the global talent that has come on the scene, it’s arguable that he did what nobody else ever did in golf, and perhaps all of sports.
However over the past 5 years, age, injury, and scandal have taken their toll on Tiger. Not only isn’t he a factor in the game right now, he literally can’t seem to make it through a tournament because of injury or poor play. Yet in spite of all of that, his brand is still strong. So strong, that he doesn’t even own his own name.
Woods is building a restaurant in Florida near his home of Jupiter. The restaurant will be called The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club because apparently Nike owns the rights to the words “Tiger Woods” as relates to business property. Don’t feel bad for Tiger; he did it to himself and probably pocketed a gazillion dollars from it. This isn’t the point of my article; so let’s get to it.
Athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan have become so powerful within their own name, that they’ve become a brand themselves. Arnold Palmer (at 84 years old) made more from endorsements in 2013 – $40,000,000 – than the great soccer stars Renaldo and Messi. That’s brand!
I have two questions for you – what’s your personal brand worth and is built to be sustainable?
How do you build your own personal brand if you’re an individual? You create an intellectual property empire with words (books, articles, blogs, etc) and voice (speaking). You deliver such incredible value that your name will soon precede you. You build “armies” like Arnie did by being charismatic, engaging, and the ultimate object of interest. You continually evolve, invent, create, and grow.
How does your company or organization build a brand? The same way, except that it is manifested through your employees and by your leadership. You create a culture of “playing for each other;” you encourage ideas; you build leaders within your organization; you collaborate; and you never stop growing and developing yourself.
Here’s the deal. Regardless of whether you are a brand of 1 person or a million employees, “branding” has become the most important business strategy you must focus on. It projects your reputation and your value to others; and it is what will protect you from any economic crisis or the winds of change. Tiger Woods has kept his brand strong even has is golf game withers. Michael Jordan hasn’t suited up for an NBA basketball game in nearly two decades, yet sales of his shoes are monstrous. The majority of golf fans in the world never saw Arnold Palmer play; yet his brand is still legendary. What about you? What do you need to accomplish to be branding iron hot with yours?
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