DETROIT - General Motors is bailing on Tiger Woods.
Woods, a global icon in sports with his 14 major championships, has been carrying the Buick logo on his golf bag for the last nine years and still had one year left on his contract.
But General Motors Corp. was looking to cut costs and hoard cash while trying to survive the worst sales downturn in a quarter-century. And it said Monday that the world’s No. 1 golfer wanted more time for himself, especially with a second child on the way.
“Timing is everything,” said Larry Peck, golf marketing manager for Buick. “We’ve had such a great partnership with Tiger. It’s hard for us to walk away from that. But this frees up time for him. And it sure frees up a lot of money for us.”
The endorsement deal, believed to be worth at least $7 million a year, was to expire at the end of 2009.
Woods endorsed GM products around the world and appeared in Buick commercials as the company tried to give the nameplate a youthful image.