October 19, 2009
We're used to sports figures making money beyond what we can imagine. We put aside the usual complaints about how one linebacker's salary could pay for a whole school's worth of teachers, or whatever. But every once in awhile, a story breaks through and makes us raise our eyebrows and wonder just how far our priorities have gone out of whack.
This is one of those stories.
Tiger Woods is headed to Australia for the Australian Masters, and he's going to get an unbelievable treatment for the extent of the six or so days that he's in country. First off, he's getting about $3 million for his appearance, which isn't bad coin. From there, the Daily Telegraph provides a complete breakdown of what he'll enjoy while he's there. And we're talking presidential-level luxury for Woods' first visit to Australia since 1997, when he made a relatively paltry $250,000 in appearance fees.
This time around, he'll fly to Australia in a private plane. He'll be chauffeured around the country and kept under the watchful eye of a complete security detail. He'll be the guest of honor at a prestigious dinner whose tickets cost more than $5,000 a seat. And chances are, everybody who's anybody in Australia -- no, I will not make a hack Crocodile Dundee joke here (unless I just did) -- will be angling for some face time with Woods.
It's already a given that Tiger's appearance will be a boon to the Aussie economy, but how much? The tournament has already sold out all four days, and tourney organizers expect Tiger's gallery to be in the neighborhood of a stunning 25,000 people per day.
The whole idea isn't just to make sure Tiger has a good time in 2009, but to bring him back in 2010 and beyond.
I'm not going to get up on some soapbox and rant about how absurd it is that an entire continent is prettying itself up like a homecoming queen hopeful. It's Australia's money, and the Aussies can do with it what they like. I will say this to Australia, though: I'm willing to bring Devil Ball down under for only a tenth of what you're offering Tiger, and I'll go ahead and commit to 2010 too. Call me!
(Visor tip: Local Knowledge)
Tiger to get 'rock star' treatment [Daily Telegraph]