1) The Elliott Wave Theorist, December 1996[Nike] recently paid $40 million for the rights to rookie golfer, Tiger Woods. It did so after a decade-long increase of more than 50 fold in its stock price, an increase that was built on the exploits of Jordan and other heroes of the bull market. Woods’ contract represents an unprecedented willingness to speculate on the next bull market hero. “Air” Nike is a fiscal incorporation of the psychology of expanding expectations. When the bubble breaks, the next big profit will fall to the Nike short sellers. …
2) The Elliott Wave Theorist, October 1997
Golf heroes are also a feature of bull markets. On the pro tour, Tiger Woods has established himself as the sport’s dominant player, just as Jack Nicklaus did the mid-1960s and Bobby Jones in the late 1920s. “Tigermania” has coincided with an unprecedented middle-class enthusiasm for the game. …
3) The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior and the New Science of Socionomics, January 2002
Linear Extrapolation: “Predicting” the Present
Trend extrapolation is the crudest form of technical analysis, and it is employed by nearly all conventional analysts, though they rarely realize it. Mainstream social and economic forecasting has forever been a practice of extrapolating present and recent conditions and trends into the future. More specifically, apparent predictions are simply (1) descriptions of present conditions (2) multiplied by an unconsciously calculated summation of multiple forward-weighted moving averages of the trends of those conditions. Obviously, in a changing world, this approach is doomed to fail. Because of this practice, both economists and futurists in general have always been notoriously optimistic at tops and pessimistic at bottoms, producing highly inaccurate forecasts of coming events. Now we know why. Because the forecasters have no reliable basis upon which actually to attempt a forecast, the prevailing social mood has full rein to affect the tone of their conclusions. The stronger the mood, the stronger their conviction, the more inventive their rationalizations, and the more extreme and confident their extrapolation. …
This wholly psychological phenomenon applies to virtually all people in all social fields. For instance, after Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters tournament, a sports reporter explained how prior to the event he had been skeptical of Jack Nicklaus’s opinion of tiger woods’ abilities, but now he was declaring Nicklaus’s opinion “an understatement,” as there was no one to beat Woods over the next 30 tournaments. …
4) The Socionomist, December 2009
Speaking of bull market personalities in a bear market: They had better tread carefully, because given the chance, the media will pounce on any anachronism’s misstep. Consider golfer Tiger Woods. Woods turned pro in 1996 and quickly became the world’s most respected golfer and the youngest ever to achieve a Grand Slam. Woods has the most PGA and other major tournament wins among active players and received the PGA’s Player of the Year award a record ten times in one of the world’s most quintessential bull market sports. But Woods’ prodigious career accomplishments now seem undone by—what? —an exceedingly minor one-car auto accident that has mushroomed into allegations including serial infidelity, alcoholism, drug abuse and more.
Members of the media have attacked Tiger Woods as if their careers depended on it. The public can’t get enough of the scandal, either, and Woods’ popularity a Fibonacci 13 years after Woods turned pro, is in a nosedive. Rasmussen’s survey found that just 38 percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of the golf superstar. That’s down from 56 percent the week after the accident and 83 percent in 2007, when the public’s love of stocks also peaked. …
5) The Socionomist, January 2010
No Longer A Cuddly Tiger
As negative mood intensifies, society scrutinizes its figureheads from the former bull market and often tears them down. Hero-athletes are no exception.
Robert Prechter observed that golf is a bull market game: It’s a pastime for people with means. The equipment alone costs hundreds of dollars, not to mention greens fees and annual club dues. It possesses a clear code of ethics, sharp geometry, mathematical scorekeeping and a connection with the manicured outdoors. Tiger Woods, the world’s most recognized athlete, competes in this consummate bull-market game. …
As discussed last month, Rasmussen Reports has conducted phone surveys on Woods’ popularity. “Just 38 percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of the golf superstar,” the service stated on December 9. “That’s down from 56 percent a week ago, shortly after the story first broke about Woods’ auto accident.” But the sentence that follows is the most revealing: “Two years ago,” Rasmussen writes, “83 percent had a favorable opinion of Woods.”
Thus, as social mood turned from positive to negative, so did Woods’ popularity. In fact, Tiger Woods’ star power started to decline long before his alleged playboy lifestyle became news. Some of his biggest sponsors began dropping long-held endorsement deals with the golfer more than a year ago: American Express in August 2007 (after 10 years) and GM in December 2008 (after nine years). Based on the polls and these actions, we infer that Woods’ popularity reached its zenith in the months between his PGA Championship win in August 2007 and his U.S. Open win in June 2008 (his latest major wins). Stocks, reflecting social mood, made their all-time peak in October 2007.
Long-time readers of EWI’s analysis may see the similarity between the Woods scandal and others like it. Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart and “The Donald” Trump all blew up when according to the stock market society was in a foul mood. All three recovered in step with equities.
Woods turned a Fibonacci 34 years old on December 30. He is young enough to enjoy a rebound in popularity, much like his Nike counterpart Kobe Bryant, who only recently reappeared in prominent ad spots after his own infidelity scandal in the bear-market-low year of 2003. If Tiger returns to golf and remains healthy, he can compete for the next 20 to 30 years. That’s good because it might take five to ten years for a bullish mood big enough to restore his badly tarnished star to emerge.
6) The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, January 2010
The effects of the bear market are not uniform, at least not yet. Just as sentiment surrounding stocks remains high, the downward thrust of the larger-degree bear market has yet to push into many aspects of everyday social life. Many observers will be shocked by the speed and depth of the next turn down. Tiger Woods’ spectacular fall from grace is a prototype for this future. By all accounts, the behavior that sparked his massive swing toward public disapproval went on for some time. But Tiger and his “handlers” managed to conceal public knowledge of a pattern of behavior that stood in stark contrast to his bull market image. It took the approaching third wave decline, already underway in the Dow/Gold ratio, which completed its countertrend rally high in August, to let loose a “series of embarrassing revelations about affairs” and Tiger’s hiatus from golf. According to Zeta Interactive, a digital ad agency, positive sentiment toward Woods plunged from 91% before the revelations to 43% now. Zeta’s president said the reversal was “the quickest positive to negative we’ve ever seen.” The NY Times likened Mr. Woods’ predicament to that of Martha Stewart, “another example of a billion-dollar brand based on a cultivated image of one person,” who has not returned to the “financial heights” she once enjoyed. Long term subscribers can appreciate the analogy, as Stewart served as a EWFF’s poster child for the downturn in bull market icons through the first leg of the bear market in 2000-2002. “Tiger is the best example of a walking, individual corporation,” says a public relations executive. Like any corporation, he is extremely susceptible to a decline in social mood, which means bad impressions are sticking to him just as tenaciously as positive ones did in the bull market. This is happening as Nielsen finds that late night jokes about Woods’ sponsor brands are generating a 55% recall among viewers. The norm is 39%. …
7) The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, September 2010
The career of Tiger Woods, the dominant golfer through the mania era, is unraveling altogether. The role of a social mood reversal in Woods’ downfall is so powerful that The Wall Street Journal nearly recognized its causality in a recent article, stating, “Mr. Woods surfed [an] irrational wave of exuberance. Few thought his greatness could ever stop. After years of prosperity there’s been a harsh correction.” The retreat extends across the breadth of the sport, as golf itself is spiraling lower. According to the National Golf Foundation, the number of golfers is down 30% from 2005. Courses are edging “perilously close to bankruptcy.” In Myrtle Beach, S.C., which calls itself Golftown USA, the number of courses is down 25% to about 100. Private golf clubs lost up to 15% of their members last year. …
8) The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, December 2011
Scandals are decimating Nike’s roster of sports icons. The re-emerging trend toward negative social mood is visible in the sagas of three separate legendary bull market performers, who are also Nike endorsers. Each case involves the sudden public dissemination of long-standing allegations and transgressions. Golfer Tiger Woods’ public image and performance suffered when revelations about long-standing infidelities hit the papers. Lance Armstrong’s legacy of seven Tour de France championships from 1999 to 2005 is under siege by contentions that he excelled because of advanced performance-enhancing doping techniques. The latest cracked pedestal belongs to Penn State’s Joe Paterno, the venerable 84-year old football coach with the most wins in Division I college football history. …
9) The Socionomist, January 2012
Tiger Update: Not Cuddly Yet
The bull-market icon is struggling mightily to regain his former reputation.
The past three years have been mostly saber-toothed for professional golfer Tiger Woods. As we demonstrated in January 2010, golf mega-star Woods, like basketball star Michael Jordan before him, is a consummate bull-market performer. And, like Jordan, his reputation is shaped by social mood.
These two men were/are heroes of their respective sports, and a 1996 report by Elliott Wave International’s Pete Kendall noted a social preference for heroes in bull markets. Kendall pointed out that the bull-market desire to worship heroes best explained the dizzying heights of Jordan’s popularity at the time.
Woods also enjoyed massive popularity during the positive mood years of the 1990s and much of the next decade. And just like Mike, Tiger was the front man for a bull-market game. Robert Prechter explained in October 1997:
The first major American golf tournament was played in 1895, eight months before the initiation of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 10 months before a low that still stands. In each successive wave of rising stock prices, golf’s popularity has surged. In the 1920s, country clubs sprang up across the nation. The Depression, “of course, put a pinch on the country club lifestyle. But by the late 1950s [during wave III], the concept was ready for a comeback.” In the 1980s, Japan’s booming mood coincided with an outrageous golf craze. … The game’s popularity is so clearly in lock-step with the stock market that Barron’s noted in a golf section earlier this year, “We can now report that there appears to be a definite connection between golf and stocks.” …
Like Woods, golf has suffered a decline. A January 16 article in USA Today says golf resort communities are “bleeding money and members.” … Across the U.S., the number of golfers has fallen by 13% in the past five years.
More recently, Woods did emerge victorious at the Chevron World Challenge. The December 2011 tournament gave him his first win in 27 attempts spanning more than two years. It moved Woods from #52 to #21 in the world ranking ….
So is Tiger back? We asserted in January 2010 that based on EWI’s forecasts [for U.S. stocks], “it might take five to 10 years for a [positive] mood big enough to restore his badly tarnished star.” He is not there yet, the market’s rally from 2009 and Tiger’s sole recent victory notwithstanding.
10) The March 2013 issue of The Socionomist puts Tiger’s return to No.1 into perspective with the Dow’s new all-time high.
Three weeks after the Dow Jones Industrial Average scored a new all-time high, Tiger Woods reclaimed the No. 1 spot in professional golf “with a game that looks as good as ever.” (AP)
Coincidence? Socionomists know better. …
Tiger’s roaring comeback may surprise people who remember the “Tiger Woods is Finished” headlines from a few years ago. But his return to the top does not surprise subscribers of The Socionomist, which forecast the worst period of his career and his eventual recovery along with stocks—more than two years ago.
Tiger and the Dow were a little more tenacious in their comebacks than we anticipated—Tiger reclaimed No. 1 about a year and half ahead of our target range—yet their correlated recovery confirms our original socionomic insight: The popularity of major sports heroes like Tiger Woods rises and falls with the stock market because they’re both driven by a singular cause, the waxing and waning social mood.
11) The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, October 2018
… an extreme expression of Tigermania may have come over the weekend. As the DJIA made a record closing high on Friday, September 21, “fans swarmed the 18th green” at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, where Woods earned his first tour victory in five years. “The scene around tiger woods was insane,” said USA Today. Even fellow golfers were dumbstruck by Tiger’s performance. “We just witnessed the greatest comeback of all time! What a time to be alive!” said fellow golfer Tommy Fleetwood. …
Tiger’s game fell off hard with the last trend toward negative social mood that began in 2007. It was in the wake of the 2009 stock market low and recession that Woods’ life slipped into scandal. Around that time, the CEO of Yahoo! called the Tiger Woods’ scandal, “better than Michael Jackson dying” for generating traffic and advertising revenue. For Tiger, all that is completely forgotten because the positive mood trend is higher, for now.