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Tiger Woods and MusclePharm form an interesting relationship

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Tiger Woods has a new sponsor. (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods has a new sponsor. (Getty Images)

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The possibility that I'm overthinking this is totally in play but I think the relationship between Tiger Woods and MusclePharm is a curious one.

Karen Crouse of the New York Times wrote a really intriguing piece this week about what Woods' new golf bag sponsor, a supplement company, is all about.

Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, said the relationship was fully vetted before he and his client moved forward.

"Our goal is to take the stigma out of supplements," said Steinberg. "Tiger Woods, maybe the most fit golfer that we've had, let's show that it's O.K. to align yourself with supplements. Just be safe when you do it. That's the message we collectively want to spread."

The CEO of MusclePharm, Brad Pyatt, agrees.

"My long-term goal is to become the first mainstream supplement company to take the scariness out of supplements."

MusclePharm is now on Tiger's bag. (Getty Images)
MusclePharm is now on Tiger's bag. (Getty Images)

And yet, there are red flags. Red flags that to me would deter Woods and Steinberg from inking the deal.

Red flags like this one:

"MusclePharm's ascent has not been without turbulence. The director of marketing, Jeremy DeLuca, pleaded guilty in 2012 to selling misbranded dietary supplements containing synthetic anabolic steroids when he was the president of Bodybuilding.com, an online sports nutrition company."

Obviously that red flag has nothing to do with Tiger but I'm surprised someone as brand-aware as him would willing choose to align with a company that has that in its history.

The risk (do I need to spell out the risks of associating yourself with a supplement company?) doesn't seem worth the reward.

And yet money talks. The details of the contract are undisclosed but you can be sure that Woods is getting paid. And you know he loves this from Pyatt:

"He's the biggest figure in athletics we can get other than LeBron James."

Plus, Steinberg said Woods would be careful before going too deep with the company. There's a Tiger line of products planned and Steinberg said they would be fully approved.

"Anything we do, if we create a Tiger line, we'll make sure it's approved by the tour," Steinberg said, "so nobody's going to ingest anything that puts him in harm's way."

Again, all of this is nothing, likely. It's not like Tiger is being fed elephant steroids via MusclePharm or anything like that. It just doesn't seem like the limb you want to tiptoe out on after the recent history you've had with sponsorships and the like.

But Tiger is the $60 million man and I'm not.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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