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April 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A clip from a 2005 interview with the late Earl Woods, Tiger Woods’s father, showing that Nike had manipulated his words to make it appear that he was addressing his son, spread virally over the Internet on Friday, but it left Nike undamaged. In fact, the New York Times pointed out on Sunday that the Nike commercial actually helped the company. Citing a study by Zeta Interactive, which monitors message boards, blogs and social-media websites, the Times reported that the company’s positive ratings, which previously had hovered around 68-73 percent jumped to 83 percent and that the number of online messages about Nike increased more than 270 percent by Friday, the day after the ads stopped running on ESPN and the Golf Channel. (The Associated Press observed on Sunday that the ad “shocked some both for its use of a dead man’s voice — out of context — and, perhaps more, its use of Tiger’s infidelity to, well, sell merchandise.”) The Zeta study also indicated that the ESPN Masters telecasts had altered for the better the public’s perception of Woods. On Wednesday, the day before the telecast began, it said, Woods’s positive rating stood at 51 percent; on Friday, it had risen to 69 percent. The Times observed that the figure was “still a far cry” from the 91 percent that Woods enjoyed pre-scandal. Meanwhile, the weekend Masters telecasts failed to deliver the Super Bowl-like ratings that some writers had predicted. Complete figures have yet to be released, but on Sunday, the first hour of primetime, which included about 15 minutes of Masters coverage, attracted 15.4 million viewers — giving CBS an easy, if unimpressive, win in the hour.