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Gatorade's Tiger Woods Timing Actually a Coincidence

It's easy to be skeptical about Gatorade's Tiger Woods story. PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) discontinued its Gatorade Tiger Focus drink line just as rumors of the golfer's numerous infidelities seized the media spotlight. News articles on the subject dutifully included Pepsi's claims that it had been planning the move for months, but most had an air of implied doubt.

The timing is a bit eerie, but it looks like Pepsi is telling the truth. Beverage Digest reported on November 25 that the move was in the works -- two days before Wood's infamous car incident. The fact is, Tiger Focus wasn't selling well -- sales for the first ten months of 2009 were down 34 percent from the previous year, and Gatorade wanted to make room for other products.

In what is likely another complete coincidence, Bloomberg showed that companies with ties to Woods -- including PepsiCo -- have actually been doing better than the general market since Wood's became a top story.

Pepsi said it would continue its partnership with Woods. "Tiger and his family have our support as he works through his private matter," the company said.

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