Gatorade drops Tiger drink; decided before wreck

Gatorade is discontinuing its Tiger Woods drink but says it made

the decision before the golfer’s car accident led to a media

firestorm surrounding his personal life.

The decision to drop the drink, called Tiger Focus, was first

reported by trade publication Beverage Digest in an issue dated

Nov. 25, two days before the incident at Woods’ home in Florida.

The publication’s editor, John Sicher, said he learned of the

decision the week of Nov. 9.

The brand – a unit of PepsiCo Inc. – says the decision does not

have to do with recent events. A spokesman says the decision came

several months ago.

The drink debuted in March 2008.

Beverage Digest estimates it represents less than 5 percent of

Gatorade’s volume. Sales volume of Tiger Focus was down 34 percent

this year through October.

Meanwhile, there have been no advertisements in prime-time

featuring Woods since Nov. 29, according to data from Nielsen

Co.

The research firm said the last prime-time ad to appear

featuring the golfer was a 30-second ad that day for the Gillette

Co. That commercial aired eight times during November, spokesman

Aaron Lewis said.

There have been no other commercials since then on all broadcast

networks and 19 cable networks during the evening news, prime-time,

late-night and during weekend sports, he said.