PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) — 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.
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