Tiger Woods, the American golfer who lost a number of lucrative sponsors during his infidelity scandal in 2010, has been hired as the face of a Japanese heat rub used to relieve muscle pain, reports the Washington Post. Woods was dropped by AT&T, Accenture and Gatorade after it transpired he had been unfaithful to ex-wife Elin Nordegren.
A new television commercial featuring Woods promoting Kowa Company's new heat-rub will debut in Japan from mid-July 2011. The Nagoya-based company said in a press release, "Kowa Company Ltd. is pleased to announce the use of Tiger Woods as the image character of Antiphlogistic Analgetic Vantelin Kowa series". The golfer, often regarded as the world's first billionaire sportsman, has not played competitively since 12th May 2011 when he withdrew half way through the Players Championship with knee and Achilles problems. The new deal represents the first time Woods has promoted products in Japan. Despite losing several major sponsors in 2010, sportswear giant Nike and gaming company Electronic Arts stuck by the golfer. Other companies such as Procter & Gamble, Gillette and Tag Heuer placed less emphasis on him in their marketing campaigns.
Tiger Woods divorced from his wife Elin Nordegren on 23rd August 2010. The Swedish-born model received a reported settlement of $100 million.