Count me among those who do not think highly of people who have extra-marital affairs. The "good news" is that society has a way of making people pay for such transgressions, especially if you are a guy who makes a hefty living hitting little white balls around grassy landscapes. In the case of Tiger Woods, whose middle-of-the-night car accident last week brought to light allegations that the golfer was involved in an affair, the payment is pretty steep. Not only has Woods issued a public apology on his web site, but the The Daily Beast reports that he will pay his wife, Elin Nordegren, $5 million upfront and another $55 million to persuade her to stay in their marriage for another 24 months.
From Tiger's perspective, this is probably a good deal. After all, $80 million is a mere 8% of his $1 billion in career earnings as calculated by Forbes. An earlierForbes report indicates that Woods has won more than $80 million on the golf course. Annual prize money, Forbes says, accounts for under 15% of his income. Sponsorship deals with Nike (NKE), Accenture (ACN), AT&T (T), Gatorade, and Procter & Gamble's (PG) Gillette pay him at least $100 million a year.
For now, all these sponsors aresticking with him. The jury is still out on whether they would view a serial adulterer as a good image for their products and services over the longer term.
So if Tiger can pay $80 million to stay married to Nordegren and somehow buff his image back to where those sponsors will want to keep forking over the cash, it would be a good investment. Of course, Tiger would still need to keep winning golf tournaments. Meanwhile, I wonder whether he thinks his extracurricular activities were worth the price he's paying in Nordegren's eyes.