Tiger Woods Ryder Cup Photo with Cigar Guy in Background
Neustar Domain Names

Millions of Dollars in Publicity for a $1,000 Reward to Find Tiger Woods Cigar Guy


By now, you have likely seen the famous Tiger Woods Ryder Cup photograph, with the ball in mid-air heading right for the photographer, and an interesting-looking guy smoking a cigar in the background. In case you haven’t seen it, the image is above for your viewing pleasure.

Despite the shot looking cool, as the ball was headed directly for the camera, the real story became the hunt for the guy smoking the cigar. Dubbed “Cigar Guy,” the Be Frugal blog (BeFrugal.com) offered a $1,000 reward to whomever is the first person identify the person smoking the cigar. They are holding a contest because they want this guy to be their next spokesman.

The contest and $1,000 reward have generated millions of dollars in publicity. News outlets including Huffington Post, NBC Sports, ABC, Wall Street Journal, and CNN are covering this special offer with news articles and reports, all linking to the BeFrugal.com website. What would essentially cost the company $1,000 has brought them priceless coverage.

This is great viral marketing!

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (14)


    It’s Cheech Marin and I claim my $1000.

    October 8th, 2010 at 12:44 pm


    Looks like cigarguy.com was reg’d back in 2000. Wonder what the traffic has been like over the past few days

    October 8th, 2010 at 1:36 pm


    Its one of the super mario Bros 🙂

    October 8th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Rob Sequin

    A little off topic but what’s the point of the photo?

    It’s obviously a staged picture, not a drive or chip shot by Tiger. Just look at the people around him and where the photographer would be, right in front of him? Doesn’t make sense.

    Maybe the ball is computer generated? Do you have a credit on the photo? Just curious but this appears to be a photo op of some sort.

    October 8th, 2010 at 5:41 pm


    @ Rob

    The photographer was interviewed on the embedded CNN video.

    October 8th, 2010 at 5:56 pm


    Cigar Guy has been identified


    October 8th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Rob Sequin

    Thanks. I watched the video and now I know this is all a hoax.

    There’s a lot wrong with this photo and story and all the buzz on CNN with all the photoshopped photos.

    No way a photographer would be standing in front of Tiger while he’s chipping from the rough.

    No way all those people would be behind Tiger on a put let alone a chip from the rough.

    Cigar guy is photoshopped in.

    Somebody is deliberately creating this buzz, probably that Frugal Blog site.

    So, I’ll call it. This is a 100% fake photo and story. The truth about the fake photo and story will be it’s own story and will further add to the buzz.

    Then the story about “What do we really know?” questions will start to come out.

    Whoever is putting up the $1000 “reward” already knows the cigar guy. Like Rick Schwartz says, follow the money.

    It’s all fake.


    October 8th, 2010 at 8:35 pm


    @ Ron

    With your Craig Snider/Ireit/Snapnames comments before and now this, someone might think you’re a conspiracy theorist! 😀

    October 8th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Rob Sequin

    Not so much a conspiracy theorist since it’s a true statement of fact with proof that Craig Snyder was the CEO of iReit while his company bought domains from Nelson Brady.

    I’ve posted domains in the past as examples and happy to post them again so people can see the facts for themselves. No interpretation or connect the dots, just facts in the whois… Nelson Brady to iReit, direct sale/transfer.

    Maybe I should offer $1000 to prove me wrong 🙂

    Seriously though, I’m saying this is a hoax. Not that that’s a bad thing. Whoever is putting up the money is getting some GREAT publicity.

    October 8th, 2010 at 9:03 pm


    @ Rob

    Here’s a different photo/angle with the guy in it making a different expression. Maybe he was planted.


    October 8th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Rob Sequin

    Also, look at Tiger’s follow through. I golf a little bit but I’m no expert but his hand is off the club and he has a wedge which would pop the ball in the air.

    Everything about this photo is wrong.

    Also, do you think the golf course would let this clown in a bad wig on the golf course and get this close to Tiger.

    It’s all a hoax. A great, harmless hoax and I think it’s funny… stupid but funny.

    October 9th, 2010 at 8:07 am


    As I was about to make a fool out of myself to post Tiger is making a cameo in a Adam Sandler comedy scene that was staged with extras and the actual Ryder’s Cup crowd, headlines show it is a London Investment Analyst who paid tribute to Miguel Angel Jimenez: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-1319238/Cigar-guy-revealed-We-man-stood-Tiger-Woods-internet-sensation.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    October 9th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    SF Sex Toy

    Think this guy is one of our customers.

    October 9th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Steve M

    Ah ha! I knew it! It’s our own Domain Borat.

    Admit it, Borat; you’ve been had! 😉

    October 10th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

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