Tiger done with Nike

Henry

And so all good things come to an end.

The golf phenomenon Tiger Woods and the iconic sports equipment company Nike parted ways this week after almost 30 years. Nike has been one of Woods’ biggest sponsors since 1996, when he joined the money ranks.

Woods’ first contract was an unprecedented $40 million (almost R750 million) over five years after which the golf star and Nike agreed in 2000 to increase the sponsorship to $100 million.

With Woods reaping the golf titles and major crowns left and right, Nike reached out even deeper in 2005 and paid Woods an incredible $320 million (about R6 billion) over the next eight years.

With injuries beginning to take their toll and limiting Woods’ success on the golf course, the billionaire sports star signed a final ten-year contract with Nike in 2013. The contract was worth $200 million.

According to Forbes, Woods therefore received a total of $660 million (about R12.3 billion) over 27 years from Nike. Forbes says he estimates Nike got at least ten times more value from the exposure.

Just in 2019’s final round of the US Masters tournament, Nike seemingly gained about $25 million in exposure when Woods collected his fifteenth major title.

According to Forbes, Woods is worth $1.1 billion today.

He earned $121 million in prize money in his golf career with the rest of his estimated $1.8 billion in earnings coming from sponsorships and performance fees.

Nike is currently scaling back its golf operations and announced late last year that it would cut more than $2 billion in costs this year to ensure the company’s survival.

The company stopped the production of golf clubs and balls already in 2016, which forced Woods to conclude a contract for them with TaylorMade.

However, Woods still wore Nike’s clothing line and shoes.

It’s not just Woods’ sponsorship deal with Nike that’s done.

The Aussie Jason Day and the Yank Justin Thomas also no longer have contracts with Nike.

These days Thomas is seen in the clothes of Greyson Clothiers. So does Woods’ son, Charlie.

Former Ralph Lauren designer Charlie Schaefer is the owner of Greyson and according to rumors Woods is about to sign a sponsorship deal with Greyson and also get a share in the company.

“I was privileged to have a partnership with one of world sport’s most iconic brands. It’s over now and I’m grateful for everything they’ve done.

“However, there will certainly be a new chapter. See you in LA,” Woods said on social media on Monday.

The LA reference is to the city of Los Angeles, where the Genesis Invitational Tournament is decided at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palasades.

This tournament starts on February 15 and according to all indications, Woods will participate. He is also the host of the tournament. This will be the perfect opportunity for Woods to introduce a new sponsorship.

Nike said in a statement on Monday that it was proud and grateful that the company could be part of Woods’ career.

“We have seen Tiger break records and inspire generations worldwide. He redefined the boundaries of sport and Nike is grateful to be a part of it,” the company said.

  • Additional information: Forbes, Golf Digest