Staggering reports overnight from the Arabian Business magazine, which claims to have seen documents confirming the fee paid to Tiger Woods by developers of the stalled Tiger Woods Dubai project. The magazine claims that Woods has already received more than $55 million from UAE developer Tatweer, despite just six holes being built and the remainder now on hold indefinitely. Apparently Woods was to receive another $14 million upon completion of the project, and would have received an additional $28.8 million had a second course been commissioned.
The Arabian Business report states that Woods ‘was originally paid $26,250,000 to promote the Tiger Woods Dubai resort, following a contract first signed on 20 June 2006. However, on 22 August 2008, both Woods and Tatweer signed an “Amendment to Golf Course Design and License Agreement” which contained 15 new clauses. On top of the $26,250,000 already paid to Woods’ company ETW (Eldrick Tiger Woods), the new deal stated that ETW would be paid “the sum of $70m as a promotional fee”.
The report claims that the extra payments included $26,166,177 paid to ETW shortly after the agreement was signed and another $14,583,333 which Tiger would have received for appearing at the official opening of the Tiger Woods Dubai course.
Clearly this report highlights the absurdity of Dubai’s debt-riddled heavy spending days, but it also offers an insight into the mindset of developers seeking the ultimate celebrity design for their project.
Fortunately for golf, Woods is going to struggle to milk other investors for such vast sums of money, but equally it’s hard to imagine him now going from believing his services were worth $70 million a project, to anything in single digits. Again this is good for golf, as we know of at least one developer in Asia who was put off Tiger Woods Design by the extravagant design fee demanded from his office.
In our naivety we had estimated an excessive design for Mr. Woods to be around the $10 million mark – clearly underestimating the value some business people place in associating with celebrity.
What’s equally enlightening about this latest report, was news that in the new deal Tiger would no longer receive a villa in the development, but that he had agreed to keep such details confidential. Obviously Tatweer had planned to use the ‘Tiger as your neighbor’ pitch to sell villas and mansions.
So for those who wondered why Tiger Woods clients were falling over financially, or why his Design business hadn’t signed a new client in more than two years, now we all know. The bottom line is he’s unaffordable – unless a designer can deliver a Pine Valley or Cypress Point, none are worth much more than a million dollars per project.