Tiger Woods, Nike End 27-Year Partnership

It’s the end of an era for Tiger Woods and Nike.

The 27-year collaboration is coming to an end, the 48-year-old golfer announced Monday on social media, including Instagram. The sportswear giant confirmed the breakup in a statement of its own on Instagram

Woods thanked the apparel giant's co-founder, Phil Knight, and hinted at "another chapter.”

“It had been long rumored that this longtime partnership was ending with a 10-year deal Woods signed in 2013 coming to an end,”  according to Golf Digest. “When asked about his future with Nike at the PNC Championship in December, Woods responded, ‘I'm still wearing their product. I'm still wearing their product.’”



At one point, Woods’ Nike deal was reported to be worth as much as $20 million a year, CNN previously reported. 

“Woods signed multiple deals with the company over a span of nearly three decades, including a 10-year deal signed in 2013 that’s worth about $200 million,” according to CNN. “But in 2019, his deal was worth about half of that amount annually, Bob Dorfman, an endorsement expert and executive creative director at Baker Street Advertising, said at the time.”

Woods first $40 million contract to wear the Nike swoosh was inked before his pro career even began in 1986. 

“And his lucrative contracts with Nike have only grown since and were part of the reason he was Forbes' highest-earning athlete on the planet for a decade straight from 2002-2011,” according to Golf Digest.

Nike was one brand that stuck through Woods through thick and thin, including a very public ending to his marriage in 2009, many injuries and a 2021 car accident that nearly cost him his right leg and took him off the tour for a year. 

When I covered Woods during the filming of a Buick commercial in Florida in 2001, the then-26-year-old golfer was just getting started, but he was already enormously popular. 

“Woods is still one of the best known athletes in the country, three times better known by the general public than the average athlete, according to surveys by Q Score,” according to CNN. “And while positive opinions of him are down from his heyday among the general public, sports fans still have a more positive view of him than the average athlete, according to the Q Score surveys.”

Woods and that swoosh fit like his hand in one of his golf gloves, writes Stephen Knox in a column in Deadspin lamenting the breakup.

“He has worn a custom logo from Nike on his hat in recent years, however, he won that last Masters Championship in 2019 while donning the swoosh on the black hat and the red shirt,” Knox writes. “His affiliation with Nike is like the mayhem guy with Allstate and the old ‘Like a Rock’ song with Chevrolet. Never did I ever think there would be a day when Woods would swing a golf club with something other than a swoosh on his chest.”

Woods ended his breakup statement with, “see you in LA” in reference to the Genesis Invitational in early February.

It’ll be interesting to see what he’s wearing, not to mention, how he’s playing. 

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