Tiger's Disruptive Force
There's been much discussion and debate in the business world the past several years about the power of disruptive ideas and concepts. Blogs disrupted mass print media. YouTube is a disruptive force with respect to broadcast media. Sirius and XM have been disruptions to the old model of radio and radio advertising. And the phenomemon is not limited to media or communications. Think of Zappos and shoe stores. Or search engines with respect to the Yellow Pages. The list of disruptions goes on ... and the impact only accelerates.
There is a crystal clear illustration of a disruption in the world of professional golf. And his name, of course, is Tiger Woods.
To understand all you have to do is to rewind the clock to 1997. Think of the best golfers in the world at the time. The list is not hard to build:
- Fred Couples and David Love, III (pictured above) - Master's, PGA champions
- Ernie Els and Vijay Singh - US Open, multiple Master's championships
- Paul Azinger and Mark O'Meara - US Open, Master's, British Open champions
- Justin Leonard and Lee Janzen - British Open, US Open champions
That's one heck of a list of eight golf professionals. You think those guys were planning on winning a few more big tournaments? Maybe even snare a major victory or two? I am dead certain they were. And why not: these guys were money! They were the golfing elite. Week in and week out, these were your contenders. (Phil Michelson is excluded because he had not yet reached his level of greatness when Tiger turned pro.)
Guess how many Wanamaker trophies those guys have grabbed since Tiger emerged in 1997?
Guess how many Green Jackets they have donned since Tiger hit the scene eleven years ago?
Today was opening day of the 2008 U.S. Open. Guess how many Open Championship cups those
eight great golfers have hoisted since 1997?
That's 33 U.S. majors over an 11-year period. And the score?
Tiger: 10 major championships
The other eight big-name players combined for just 7.
Tiger came along and changed the game. Changed it in previously unimaginable ways. Much has been written about the way he thinks, trains, plays and practices. That's not the point. The point
for marketing geniuses is two-fold:
1- If you are an established leader, don't think that simply because you are enjoying success that you always will.
2- And if you are the valiant newcomer, do not underestimate the power of new ideas and new approaches to disrupt the status quo, or to open up new opportunities.