Years ago, the idea of Tiger Woods winning another PGA Tour Championship might have seemed far-fetched. At that time, the future of the 79-time PGA Tour winner was clouded with scandal, back issues, and nerve pain.
Though he held the lowest scoring average in PGA Tour history, many — including Tiger himself — thought his glory days were behind him.
But on Sunday, he won the 2018 PGA Tour Championship. For the first time in more than five years, he reclaimed his spot at the top of the leaderboard and emphatically silenced his doubters.
But while Tiger’s career was in the shadows for years, there is no denying that he still was top-of-mind for fans and non-fans alike. Many people around the world were watching him, following him, and waiting for the one day when he’d make his triumphant return.
Tiger’s Social Swings and Misses
This impassioned fandom for Tiger is reinforced through his social media success in what might be considered his “off years.”
Tiger’s total social media following has increased by 59% since January 2014 to more than 10.4 million followers, showing the immense interest he generates even when he’s not topping the leaderboard.
Tiger Woods’ Total Followers By Platform
Look at Tiger’s year-over-year social follower growth beginning in 2016. He was coming off of one of the worst years of his professional career.
In 2015, Tiger missed the cut at the U.S Open at Chambers Bay, the British Open at St. Andrews, and the PGA Championship. In addition, he didn’t even appear in the top 100 in the World Golf Ranking.
But on social media, he continued to excel. From 2015 to 2016, he experienced his highest follower growth rate (17.9%) across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Although his growth slowed heading into 2017 and 2018, he still has the largest social footprint of PGA Pro golfer with 10.4M followers.
Topping the Social Leaderboard
In the past year, he led all golfers in social engagements (4.58M) and social value ($7.09M).
2018 Top Golfers By Engagement
His activity on social media has increased this year as well.
Tiger has posted 289 times so far in 2018 resulting in an average of 18.1K engagements per post. This is a 145% increase in posts from Tiger and a 132% increase in average engagement per posts from that same time period in 2015.
In addition, his partners, the PGA, and media outlets continue to keep the spotlight on him:
- Nike Golf’s post featuring Tiger after he won is the sub-brand’s most engaging social post of 2018. It generated 101K engagements, $35.8K in social value, and $15.8K in value for Nike in just 24 hours.
- 2/3rds of the PGA’s 18 most-engaging posts in 2018 included Tiger Woods. Those 12 posts generated more than 1.8M engagements and $1.78M in social value.
- The Golf Channel’s top two posts in 2018 highlight Tiger’s victory on Sunday and have generated 121.3K engagements and $112.2K in social value.
Despite faltering in recent years, Tiger continued to amass a following on social media—staying atop the social leaderboard. For any athlete, sustaining this activity on social media might come as a challenge when they’re not winning championship after championship.
But for Tiger?
It was just par for the course.