Tiger Woods ends his partnership with Nike after 27 years
Tiger Woods of the United States is photographed during the pro event as a preview of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on November 29, 2023 in Nassau.
David Cannon | Getty Images
Tiger Woods’ 27-year partnership with Nike He has come to an end. The star golfer announced the news in a statement Monday on social media platform X.
“Phil Knight’s passion and vision brought this Nike-NikeGolf partnership together, and I want to thank him personally, along with the incredible Nike employees and athletes I’ve had the pleasure of working with along the way.” Woods wrote.
Woods’ longtime agent, Mark Steinberg, told CNBC that the golfer made a business decision not to renew with Nike.
The announcement came after months of speculation that the two would split. Nike confirmed the news on Instagram with a photo of Woods in the famous red polo shirt, saying: “It was a hell of a race.”
The company said in a statement: “For more than 27 years, we have had the honor of partnering with Tiger Woods, one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen. Throughout our partnership, we have witnessed, along with the rest of the world’s athletes, how Tiger not only redefined the sport of golf.” “But he broke barriers to all types of sports. We watched him set records, challenge conventional thinking and inspire generations of people around the world. We are grateful to be a part of it and wish him the best for the future.”
There is no information yet on Woods’ plans for a future endorsement deal. But he said on social media: “There will definitely be another chapter.”
Some recent speculation about Woods’ next chapter has pointed to On Running, the Swiss brand that tennis legend Roger Federer joined in 2019 after leaving Nike.
Mark Maurer, co-CEO of On Running, addressed the speculation Monday at the ICR Retail Conference in Orlando. “We’ve also heard the rumours, so it’s always interesting what’s out there and hopefully Tiger will find a great new partner and it won’t be us,” he said.
Golf equipment manufacturer TaylorMade, with which Woods, 48, has had a relationship since 2017, could be another potential landing spot for the 15-time major winner.
Analysts do not expect a major impact from the news, as rumors about Woods’ departure have been circulating for months.
“We continue to believe the company has endorsements from some of the biggest athletes in the world, and we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Brian Yarbrough, Nike analyst at Edward Jones.
Nike had been quietly ramping up its golf business for years because it wasn’t generating huge amounts of money for the brand. In 2016, the Oregon sportswear maker announced it would stop manufacturing golf equipment altogether.
However, Woods brought significant exposure to the Nike brand. Over the course of his career, Woods earned $500 million from “The Swoosh.”
Eric Smallwood, founder of Apex Marketing, estimates that when Woods makes four rounds, he gives Nike $2 million to $4 million in exposure.
Likewise, when Woods swapped his Nikes for FootJoy shoes for the 2023 Masters, he gave the brand $3.2 million in exposure.
He said Woods provides more exposure to Nike than even LeBron James because of the pace of golf compared to basketball. “Golfers have longer lives,” Smallwood said.
– CNBC Gabriel Vonrug He contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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