Money Face-Off: Tiger Woods vs. David Beckham

Tiger Woods, unarguably the world’s greatest golfer, or David Beckham, the world’s best-know soccer player — in which would you invest?

The industry that is Tiger has shown consistent growth in earnings, with PGA winnings in his first 13 years as a pro exceeding $70 million. His presence in a golf tournament boosts television ratings by 50% or more. He almost single-handedly established Nike in the golf equipment world. He holds the #5 place in Forbes’ Celebrity 100 and was #2 in press clippings in 2005. Nike (NYSE: NKE), Buick (NYSE: GM), American Express (NYSE: AXP), Accenture, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Tag Heuer are among the companies that shovel buckets of cash his way in return for his endorsement.

David Beckham is no slouch in the cash category, either. The Times estimates the soccer star brings in a cool $40+ million for endorsements, including Adidas, ESPN, and Motorola (NYSE: MOT). Even in soccer-lite America, he has 51.9% recognition, more than twice that of NBA MVP Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. Continue