Tiger Woods Severs Ties From Nike After Nearly 3 Decades

The 27-year relationship between Tiger Woods and Nike, the biggest sportswear company in the world, has been revealed. From his first major tournament victory in 2019 to his projected $85 million endorsement deal in 2000, Nike has been identified with Woods since 1996. Among the several agreements that Woods inked with the firm over the course of almost three decades was a $100 million, ten-year arrangement that he signed in 2013. But his agreement only paid about half as much each year in 2019.

According to polls conducted by Q Score, Woods continues to rank among the most well-known sportsmen in the nation, with a level of public awareness three times higher than the average athlete. Even now, he’s more well-liked by sports fans than the typical player. Apex Marketing Group president Eric Smallwood said that Nike may be about to exit the golf industry, citing the company’s history of selling logoed golf balls and clubs, which ended, as evidence. Additionally, he mentioned that Woods is a golfing icon, and Nike has been there for him through thick and thin. Ending that relationship is a sea change that signals something more profound than a willy-nilly decision.

After the contentious merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV golf, Woods was appointed the sixth player director on the influential PGA Tour policy board in August. This gave players a one-seat advantage. Woods is a savvy businessman who sees the changing golf scene and thinks Nike has been receding as a substantive player in the golf kingdom, according to Joshua Butler, CEO of the online golf apparel shop J. Butler Golf.

Since becoming a pro in 1996, Woods has won 82 PGA Tour tournaments, 15 major championships, and several comebacks from injuries and personal tragedies while wearing Nike swooshes. For almost twenty-five years, Woods’ signature Sunday attire—a black hat, black slacks, and a red Nike shirt—has come to symbolize men’s professional golf.