Tiger Woods and EA are okay for now, but there's a caveat: the former #1 golfer in the world really needs to start winning again.
According to a recent Reuters report , EA CEO John Riccitiello has said that if the EA/Woods partnership is to remain strong, the still-embattled golfer will have to snap out of his funk next season. If you took a trip to Mars over the past year, you probably missed the scandal; if you actually need a refresher course, Google is your friend. But anyway, Woods hasn't managed to win a tournament since the ugliness exploded on national television, and he has also lost his #1 ranking. And while the EA boss says his words are "no threat against Tiger," the business relationship is…well, a business relationship. Said Riccitiello:
"We're with him because he has the promise of being the world's best golfer. We have no plans to move away from him, but it's a business relationship on the basis of we make the best golf game and he's the best golfer. Both of those things need to be true in the long run for the partnership to make sense."
Woods' issues off the golf course don't concern EA, but Riccitiello admits that the one-time dominant athlete may never reclaim his singular, all-powerful spark. For the time being, however, both parties will push forward and hope that Woods enjoys a more fruitful 2011…more wins will make everyone happy, including EA. Finished Riccitiello:
"He sort of stuck with us for a very long time and we made great business together, and we're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for a period of time."
Just be wary of that last bit, Tiger. "A period of time" sorta means you're on the clock. Good luck.