Gatorade Cuts ‘Tiger’ Sports Drink

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, The Wall Street Journal, citing data from Nielsen Co., reported Wednesday that advertisers haven’t aired TV commercials featuring Woods since shortly after the scandal broke.

The latest news comes on the heels of some major “Tiger” drama on Tuesday. A hysterical 9-1-1 call was made from Woods’ home early Tuesday morning after the golf star’s mother-in-law suddenly collapsed and rushed to a local hospital just a few days after arriving from Sweden.