So Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods announced they were dating Monday afternoon. They did it on Facebook, which is where every relationship is confirmed these days, even if celebrities tend to go with the paid People photoshoot. But here's the most absurd parts about the couple's official confirmation of what the tabloids have been reporting for weeks: The awkward staged photos on their Facebook pages prominently feature their mega-sponsorship deals.
"Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating," Woods wrote in his post, sounding like a robot in an ugly Nike shirt. Lindsey sounded slightly more human: "I guess it wasn't a well-kept secret but yes, I am dating Tiger Woods," she wrote, next to a photo of her in a nice teal getup. "Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy." She closed it with an "xo," because she understands how to sound like a human and not a publicist.
But there was still a clever PR operation underway here: The pictures of the happy couple, which have been shared about as many times as you would imagine, feature them wearing clothing from their biggest sponsors — Woods in that ugly Nike polo and dad jeans, Vonn in that skier-approved Under Armour track jacket. See what they did there? They used their relationship announcement to bring the two brands together — Under Armour is actually suing Nike, and here's a rundown of the two companies — or at least to bring your eyeballs to the companies paying them a ton of money. And, really, Tiger could use some favor with the sponsors — after he very publicly cheated on his last significant other, he was dropped by Tag Heuer, Gatorade, Gillette, and AT&T. Nike stood by him, though, and recently re-upped with a 10-year contract worth an estimated $187 million — even though he's no longer their highest paid golfer.
But, hey, he just won the his second World Golf Championship, so maybe this marketing ploy to get around a People cover story is just the latest in a comeback story. At the very least, Woods and Vonn taught other celebrities a lesson in trying to create your own spotlight: The two are currently being ripped apart by their own fans in the Facebook comments...
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.