The law of physics applies to sports brands – what goes up must eventually come down. In this case, it’s probably good news for Phil Mickelson that he joined Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Shaun White at a TrendSignal score of 42 for the latest reporting period, down -14 points from his brand’s February metric.
The Mickelson TrendSignal directly affects his endorsers (KPMG, ExxonMobil, Rolex, Barclays and Callaway Golf) as his media prominence – both positive and negative – create more visibility for these sponsors. His sentiment remains high as does his trailing 12-month signal (45) among his golfing peers (it’s hard to compete on media against Tiger Woods (+5) or Rory McIlroy (+10), with the latter’s popular athlete/couple story involving tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki)
While I’m certainly no expert on golf, the media made its own connections between Michelson’s public comments on the tax code and his poor showing in the U.S. Open. Regardless of any connection, the collision of a good brand opportunity (the U.S. Open) with a very non-brand event (ill-timed statements on the U.S. tax code) can really stoke the media flames. Michelson’s public apology last month kept his media slide at bay. Sentiment is still positive as Michelson’s comments on taxes are likely shared in the social media segments while his poor showing in the U.S. Open was chocked up to just poor play.