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Tiger Woods caddies for online sports site

A sporting goods e-tailer hopes Tiger Woods can work his golf course magic in the e-commerce arena--the most recent in a string of partnerships between celebrities and dot-coms.

An online sporting goods retailer hopes Tiger Woods can work his golf course magic in the e-commerce arena--the most recent in a string of questionable partnerships between celebrities and dot-coms.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based CBS SportsLine announced Wednesday that it has broadened a 1997 deal with the world's top-ranked golfer through 2002. SportsLine will become the official English-language Internet sports media partner of Woods' official site.

As part of the agreement, TigerWoods.com and SportsLine will coordinate marketing campaigns and share content including live scoring from PGATour.com. SportsLine will also get the right to use Tiger Woods' name and image to promote its site.

"There's no bigger star worldwide in sports today than Tiger Woods," Michael Levy, founder and CEO of SportsLine, said in a statement. "We began our association with Tiger back in July 1997, when he became one of the first athletes to launch an official Web site, and are pleased and proud to be continuing a long and mutually beneficial relationship."

The Woods deal is similar to other SportsLine affiliations including those with basketball's Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal, baseball's Cal Ripken, football's Joe Namath, and golfer John Daly.

But it's unclear whether the affiliation will benefit Woods or SportsLine; partnerships between celebrities and Web sites have a checkered record of success.

Earlier this month, failed e-tailer MVP.com reopened its sporting goods store with only a fraction of the items previously available. In the process, it lost the backing of sports superstars Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and John Elway.

William Shatner's deal with Priceline.com has been perhaps the most infamous celebrity-to-dot-com marriage gone bad. On Jan. 1, Shatner stopped appearing in some advertisements for Priceline, which paid "Star Trek" Capt. James T. Kirk with stock.

During his tenure with the name-your-own-price e-tailer, the value of Shatner's shares sunk from $20 million to less than $200,000. Ultimately, Shatner ended the deal, and Priceline replaced him with Sarah Jessica Parker, star of HBO's "Sex and the City."

Although the ratio of celebrity hits-to-misses for online sites has increased with the growing list of dot-com failures, a few encounters have turned into longer-lasting relationships.

Regis Philbin, host of ABC's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?," in July began hawking travel services for ByeByeNow.com. Philbin, who appears via streaming video clips, still welcomes guests and gives virtual tours for the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based company's site.

Oprah Winfrey, the reigning queen of talk shows, is a prominent backer of Oxygen Media, a cable TV station and network of Web sites targeting female viewers. Internet luminaries such as Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang tutored Winfrey on the inner workings of the Web at Herb Allen's annual gathering of media magnets.

Winfrey--with an estimated worth of $725 million--plans to venture further onto the Net to duplicate the success of her book clubs. In February, Winfrey appeared on a TV show broadcast on AOL Time Warner-backed Oxygen called "Oprah Online."