Add Gatorade to the list of endorsement deals that Tiger Woods has lost. A representative for the drink, sold by PepsiCo Inc., confirmed late Friday that it had ended its relationship with the golfer, who made a lengthy public apology last week for his infidelities.“We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship,” a Gatorade spokeswoman said. “We wish him all the best.”
The spokeswoman said Gatorade would continue its relationship with the Tiger Woods Foundation.
She declined to say whether his contract was terminated early because of trouble with his public image.
Gatorade discontinued its Tiger Woods-brand drinks in November, a decision made before Woods’ marital problems became known.
At the time, Gatorade stuck by him as a sponsor, but it too relented on Friday, becoming the third major endorsement the golfer has lost. AT&T Inc. and Accenture dropped Woods in the weeks following the tabloid frenzy of cheating allegations.
“We have been in discussions with Gatorade, and while we are disappointed they have decided to not continue with Tiger in their marketing plans, we appreciate their continued involvement with Tiger through his foundation,” Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg of IMG, said in an e-mail.The companies that have stuck most closely by Woods, Nike Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc.—which have invested specifically in his athleticism— reiterated their support last week when the golfer made his public apology.Others, such as Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette and Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, de-emphasized him in their marketing.
Chartier’s email to Academy members reads as follows:
I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to write you and say I hope you liked Hurt Locker and if you did and want us to win, please tell (name deleted) and your friends who vote for the Oscars, tell actors, directors, crew members, art directors, special effects people, if everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film, we need independent movies to win like the movies you and I do, so if you believe The Hurt Locker is the best movie of 2010, help us!
I’m sure you know plenty of people you’ve worked with who are academy members whether a publicist, a writer, a sound engineer, please take 5 minutes and contact them. Please call one or two persons, everything will help!
Nicolas Chartier Voltage Pictures
Petra Diamonds sold a 507-carat diamond for $35.3 million on Friday, breaking a record as the highest price ever paid for a rough diamond.
Analysts had estimated the value of the stone, one of the 20 biggest high-quality rough diamonds, at around $25 million.
“It is fitting that the Cullinan Heritage should achieve a sale price of $35.3 million, the highest sale price on record ever achieved for a rough diamond, as it has the potential to produce one of the world’s most important polished gems,” Chief Executive Johan Dippenaar said.
London-listed Petra said in a statement the gem was purchased in a tender by Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Co Ltd in Hong Kong.
Proceeds will help boost Petra’s profit for its fiscal year to end-June after the firm swung to a first-half profit on higher production and sales.
AIM-listed Petra found the gem last September at its 74 percent owned Cullinan mine in South Africa, which it bought from sector giant De Beers in 2007.
The Cullinan mine has been the source of many large diamonds, including the world’s largest rough diamond — the Cullinan — at 3,106 carats. That gem was cut into the Star of Africa stones that are now set in Britain’s Crown Jewels.
Petra was a member of a consortium that paid $148 million when buying the Cullinan mine from De Beers, which is 45 percent owned by mining group Anglo American.
The Veterans Affairs Department says it will take a second look at the disability claims of what could be thousands of Gulf War veterans suffering from illnesses they blame on their war service, the first step toward potentially compensating them nearly two decades after the war ended.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said the decision is part of a “fresh, bold look” his department is taking to help veterans who have what’s commonly called “Gulf War illness” and have long felt the government did little to help them. The VA says it also plans to improve training for medical staff who work with Gulf War vets, to make sure they do not simply tell vets that their symptoms are imaginary — as has happened to many over the years.
“I’m hoping they’ll be enthused by the fact that this … challenges all the assumptions that have been there for 20 years,” Shinseki told The Associated Press in an interview.
The changes reflect a significant shift in how the VA may ultimately care for some 700,000 veterans who served in the Gulf War. They also could improve the way the department handles war-related illnesses suffered by future veterans, because Shinseki said he wants standards put in place that don’t leave veterans waiting decades for answers to what ails them.