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Tag: Tiger Woods (1-10 of 32)

As revenue drops, the makers of 'FarmVille' announce sports games

Former social gaming giant Zynga is going for the ol’ Hail Mary: The company announced Thursday that they’ve struck deals with the NFL and pro golfer Tiger Woods to develop a series of sports games for mobile devices.

While new sports games for mobile phones aren’t much to get excited about, the fact that Zynga has locked down an NFL licensing deal is an interesting development in the company’s years-long struggle to pull itself from the brink of disaster.

USA Today reports that the deals came just as Zynga shares dropped 7 percent in after-hours trading when the company’s second-quarter earnings failed to meet expectations.

For a brief period of time, Zynga was inescapable. If you had a Facebook account and any number of friends, chances are that between posting photos and commenting on statuses, you had a farm to run. FarmVille was Zynga’s magnum opus, the amusement that perfected the company’s addictive Facebook-game formula of giving players Pavlovian diversions while encouraging them to spam friends and pay small amounts of money in order to advance more quickly. Within days of its 2009 launch, FarmVille had 32 million people playing every day. It would eventually spawn a sequel.

But in December 2011 Zynga went public, and its troubles began. Seven months later, the company’s stock crashed, serving as a reminder of the truth behind that old cliche about keeping all of your eggs in one basket. Ironically, the company had taken steps to distance itself from that basket—Facebookjust one month prior.

Although Zynga hired Don Mattrick, the former head of Microsoft’s entertainment division, to help turn the company around last year, Zynga still lacks another bona fide, Candy Crush-level hit.

The company’s Tiger Woods golf game will launch in 2015. The first football game, NFL Showdown, a management sim, is “coming soon.

'Forbes' names Madonna the highest paid celebrity of 2013

The Material Girl isn’t going to be short on materials anytime soon.

Madonna has been named the highest paid celebrity of 2013 by Forbes, which reports that the pop star brought in $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Not even an album flop can keep this woman down.

Behind Madonna is the king of movies, Steven Spielberg, with $100 million, the king of reality singing competitions, Simon Cowell, with $95 million, and the queen who gave us the red room of pain, E.L. James, also with $95 million. Rounding out the top five is Howard Stern — the king of awkwardness? — with the ever-popular intake of $95 million.

The first athlete joins the list at number 12, with Tiger Woods bringing in $78 million. And believe it or not, Oprah Winfrey sits at number 13 with $77 million. Luckily, that’s still enough money to give away a handful of cars if she feels the need.

Forbes names Tim Tebow America's Most Influential Athlete... proving that NFL teams don't read Forbes

A mathematical formula is only useful if it confirms what the observer knows to be empirically true, like two plus two is four. Applying that logic to something more complex, if I told you that I had a system that could quantify and rank the biggest movie stars of all time, you would be immediately skeptical if my calculations insisted the top 3 were Emilio Estevez, Burt Reynolds, and George Raft. All three actors were stars, of course, but clearly, my movie-star algorithm has a few kinks.

So when Forbes magazine announced that Tim Tebow is the Most Influential Athlete in America, I immediately questioned the whole premise. After all, even though Tebow achieved folk-hero status as quarterback of the Florida Gators and the Denver Broncos, he was recently cut by the the New York Jets after a humiliating season sitting on the bench of a losing team. No other NFL team has picked him up since. Is it really conceivable that an athlete who can’t even persuade an NFL team to give him a chance is sport’s most influential figure?

Yet there he is, ranked in front of the future Hall of Famer (and Saturday Night Live all-star) who displaced him in Denver, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, and LeBron James. What gives? Where are the athletes who I actually see on TV commercials, like Phil Mickelson, the Williams sisters, or Danica Patrick? Did the cool kids decide that “Influential” really meant “Overhyped” without telling me?

Click below for the Forbes Top 10 list, full of NFL QBs and Olympic stars basking in the glow of London. READ FULL STORY

LeBron James and Tiger Woods: Are we ready for them to win?

Tonight in Oklahoma City, LeBron James takes the court in the NBA Finals against the Thunder and gets another shot at redemption. With his tone-deaf July 2010 ESPN television special announcing his decision to take his talents to Miami, no American athlete — outside of pro wrestling — has ever gone from hero to heel as quickly as James, the onetime teenage wunderkind who was anointed the heir to the crown worn by Magic, Jordan, and Kobe. Departing the Cleveland Cavaliers was not unexpected, but the manner in which he rejected them turned the basketball gods against him. Even before his first game with his new superstar teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he predicted the Heat would win at least eight NBA championships. Boos subsequently greeted him in every arena the Heat visited. And though the Heat went to the finals last year, his failure to bring home a title was relished by critics, who taunted him for repeatedly coming up short when the game was on the line. After helping the Heat rally to defeat the Celtics last week, though, James is on the verge of proving the naysayers wrong and perhaps winning back some goodwill.

On Thursday near San Francisco, Tiger Woods will tee off in the first round of the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club. Since his still-baffling car crash in November 2009 led to the exposure of a sordid secret life of multiple extramarital affairs, no American athlete — including pro wrestlers — has ever shed an armor of invincibility to become a subject of ridicule so quickly. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: 'Game of Thrones,' 'Titanic,' and Tiger Woods

Spring is in the air. That sense of rebirth is especially alive and well in the world of entertainment, as many of our favorite shows are back and there’s suddenly optimism about buds of pop-cultural excellence ready to flower. Mad Men is already humming. The Hunger Games is a huge smash. Game of Thrones and The Killing kick off tonight, further complicating your Sunday-night DVR dilemma — especially if you’ve been banking Frozen Planet for the kids. Discovery’s cool-climate nature documentary doesn’t follow the birds or the bees, but perhaps Tuesday’s paperback release of Fifty Shades of Grey will address those details in a different but equally enlightening manner.

Seasons change in the world of sports, too, from Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball final between Kentucky and Kansas, to the opening pitches of baseball season — the St. Louis Cardinals begin their title defense on Wednesday night in Miami — to the blooming azaleas and dogwoods of Augusta National during the Masters golf tournament.

It’s time to look ahead at the juicy fruit just waiting to be plucked from the entertainment tree. This week has something for everyone. Enjoy.

SUNDAY, April 1
Game of Thrones
season premiere — 9 p.m., HBO READ FULL STORY

Elin Nordegren is still standing, but her $12 million North Palm Beach mansion isn't

Elin Nordegren paved paradise to put up… more paradise. According to the Palm Beach Post, Nordegren, Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, has had her $12.3 million Florida mansion demolished to make way for “her own dream home.” (See the before and after pictures of the 17,000-square foot property, which was originally built in 1932 and included “eight bathrooms, an in-ground pool and an elevator” here. Wait, that wasn’t the dream home?!) READ FULL STORY

Tiger Woods on Fallon: Not Hugh Grant on Leno, sadly

On Wednesday’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Tiger Woods made his first late appearance since his scandal. Anyone expecting Jimmy Fallon to ask him “What the hell were you thinking?” (what Jay Leno inquired of Hugh Grant in 1995) was probably disappointed. Fallon did address the scandal, in a roundabout way, choosing to open with, “It’s been a year and a half since you were on our show… what have you been up to?” Woods’ response: “Uh, nothin’. Nothin’. Playin’ bad golf.”

We do have to give props to Fallon for thanking Woods, ad nauseum, for the gift he gave late night shows. “I want to say thank you for having the courage to come on a late night comedy program…. It must have been a painful and awful situation, the whole thing you went through, but from a comedian’s standpoint, and my monologue writers’, thank you so much. That was some of the greatest comedy we did ever. I mean, you must have heard every golf joke in history, but that is like a magical thing to happen, your awful pain. And we laughed at your pain, and I mean, not even making jokes — it kinda wrote itself. I mean, ‘balls,’ ‘shaft,’ ‘holes,’ ‘foursomes.’ I mean, it really writes itself. I just want to say, thank you. thank you, thank you.” Woods laughed heartily and said, “You got it.”

Surprisingly, that’s when Woods looked the most relaxed. READ FULL STORY

Tiger Woods' image rehab: Can he redefine victory, or is he still stuck in a bunker?

Last Thanksgiving, Tiger Woods’ life began to unravel. It started with a minor car accident, but what occurred in the days and weeks that followed was a slow-motion train wreck. The obsessively private, steely focused golfing superstar’s marriage fell apart as humiliating details of tawdry affairs came to light in a seemingly unending drip of bad press. The scandal ended his marriage, trampled his lucrative career as a product pitchman, and derailed his 2010 golf season, in which he failed to win a tournament for the first time since he became a professional.

But with Woods’ own tournament scheduled for Dec. 1 in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Woods has reemerged from his cocoon to promote the event and test the waters for some image rehab. This week, the world’s now-former No. 1 golfer penned a reflective essay for Newsweek, titled “How I’ve Redefined Victory.” He also joined Twitter, and on Thursday morning, he phoned in to ESPN’s Mike & Mike In the Morning, where he described himself as “infinitely happier” today than he was last year at this time.

Our society hungers for personal details about its celebrities, especially when there’s blood in the water. But in Woods’ case, there’s no introspective essay, no interview, no tweet that would be as effective as resumed dominance on the golf course. READ FULL STORY

Scandal dents Tiger Woods' wallet, not his popularity

If you ever doubted the cynical maxim that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, look no further than the new Harris Interactive survey that asked Americans, “Who is your favorite sports star?” For the fifth straight year, Tiger Woods ranked No. 1 (tied with NBA star Kobe Bryant). This, despite the ugly sex scandal that sullied the golfer’s previously bulletproof image, cost him $22 million in lost endorsements, and led to the breakup of his marriage. Though he hasn’t won a tournament since last November, he’s still the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world, and America clearly loves a winner. Ask Bryant, who just claimed his fifth NBA title as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. His popularity seems fully recovered from the 2003 sexual assault allegations that resulted in an out-of-court settlement. These popularity findings can only be good news for Lebron James, who fell to  sixth in the Harris poll. Though he’s recently been vilified for the way that he abandoned the city of Cleveland, he can take comfort in the knowledge that people will forgive (or forget)…as long as he wins.

Forbes power list: Women on top

Lady-GagaImage Credit: Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty ImagesMemo to Angelina Jolie: Charity work doesn’t make you powerful. That seems to be the message from today’s announcement of Forbes magazine’s annual celebrity power list, where women may have claimed three of the top five slots, but Jolie, last year’s top-ranked star, fell to No. 18. (Though Jolie has been keeping relatively busy filming projects like Salt and The Tourist, she hasn’t actually had a film in theaters since 2008.) Rather, this year’s top five were (in order) Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, James Cameron, Lady Gaga, and Tiger Woods, a lineup determined by income and media presence. Elsewhere on the list, Robert Pattinson (No. 50) outranked James Patterson (No. 53), Alec Baldwin (No. 88) edged out Tina Fey (No. 90), and — since I know you all were wondering — Justin Bieber was nowhere to be found.

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