Sponsors have begun to bet again on Mr Woods. In 2016 Bridgestone Golf signed a multi-year deal with the golfer. The chief executive of Bridgestone at the time compared Mr Woods to Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan in global appeal. Last year TaylorMade sealed a contract with Mr Woods to use its clubs. Nike, which stood by Mr Woods in the bad times, has a valuable clothing deal with him.
All these firms will be winners from his resurgence, even as sponsors of his competitors will be deprived of screen time, says Jeff Greenfield of C3 Metrics, an advertising-data firm: “The cameras are all on Tiger because the networks are not dumb.”
There will be other winners. Discovery has announced a streaming service to show American golf tournaments outside America, beginning next year. A rejuvenated Mr Woods will help sell that product. Broadcast networks will be able to earn more for advertisements. “We’re going to see rates surge like crazy,” Mr Greenfield says (by at least 35%, he reckons). They should enjoy the Tiger effect while it lasts. He is 42 years old. When he fades again, so will the fans’ cheers.