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HomeNewsPotential Reasons Why Tiger Woods Parted Ways With Nike  

Potential Reasons Why Tiger Woods Parted Ways With Nike  

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Earlier this month, Tiger Woods made an official statement that restated many rumors. He stated that his partnership with Nike is at an end. Woods said something to the effect that there is no conflict of interest in the decision to close the contract.

Woods celebrating a historic win
Source: Tiger Woods/X

However, many sports analysts are speculating what this spells for the future of Nike and Woods himself in golf. Is this the subtle beginning of Woods’s retirement, and will Nike be pulling out of future sponsorships in professional golf?

There Shall Be No Renewals

In a post on his official X account, Woods expressed appreciation for the contributions of Nike co-founder Phil Knight to his life-long career. In the same post, Woods shared a picture he took with Knight and his mother, Kultida. 

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Woods makes an official statement about his Nike contract
Source: Tiger Woods/X

From all the clue crumbs left behind by the two parties, it seems both Woods and Nike by no means regret their alliance of 27 years. 

ALSO READ: Kultida Woods: Inside the Life of Tiger Woods’ Mother

It Is Not a Rumor  

Mark Steinberg is Woods’ agent and has also confirmed that the sports star and his long-time patron are going their separate ways.

Tiger and Kultida Woods with Phil Knights taking pictures together
Source: Tiger Woods/X

Steinberg reminisced about the journey that started in 1996 and was forced to admit that it was career-molding for Woods. However, “it was time for a new chapter,” in the agent’s voice. 

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How the Golf Star Started His Pro Journey 

Woods was 20 years old in 1996 when he signed his first contract with Nike. The young chap had just gone pro after winning his third straight amateur. 

Woods dorning a Nike fez
Source: The Upshot/X

At the official unveiling of his first contract with Nike, 20-year-old Woods said, “I guess, hello world, huh?” As a follow-up, Nike initiated a “Hello, World” campaign two days after the unveiling. 

The Endorsement and Contracts Went a Long Way

Woods’ 1996 contract with Nike, the first-ever, was worth a whopping $40 million. That was just a five-year contract. Everyone was left with a jaw drop by the scale of a sports promotional contract. 

Golfers with a hedge of Nike logo in the background
Source: Joe Little/Pinterest

However, it was a drop in the cup as far as Nike was concerned, and the late Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, thought his son was worth way more than that. 

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When a Father Believes the Potential of His Child

Posterity would prove Earl Woods right as his budding talent of a son proceeded to win many more caps and grow the value of his sports endorsements in the following years. 

Tiger and Earl laughing during a tournament break
Source: Aron Laxdal/X

In 2001, Nike renewed their 5-year contract with Woods. Albeit, the sum was increased to $100 million. In 2006, he signed an eight-year deal worth $160 million. 

Woods: Becoming the Face of Nike

It doesn’t end there; Woods signed his last contract with Nike in 2013 for $200 million! The very peak of the Woods-Nike deal is the floating of the ‘TW’ clothing line. 

Woods at his first PGA Tour action of 2024
Source: David Rumsey/X

Tiger Woods became Nike’s highway into the world of golf. Besides the TW line of merchandise through which Nike made back money on the contract, the brand also enjoyed some fringe benefits, like shooting commercials for the company. 

Most Journeys Get Bumpy

However, speculators suggest things started going south in the Woods-Nike alliance in 2021. The golf legend had an emotionally stormy year in 2009 due to an infidelity crisis in his marriage. Still, Nike did not bail on him. 

Woods’ totaled car with the golf star inset
Source: Dunko Xyvir/Medium

However, in 2021, Woods was in a car accident and ended up going through major procedures on his back and left leg. At his first public appearance after recovery, Woods decided to dorn a branded shoe that was not Nike’s at his first public appearance after recovery. 

ALSO READ: Tiger Woods Thanks Fans and Well Wishers after Car Crash Incident

Open to the Next Chapter Please

Trust the Press to bug the Sportsman about the not-Nike shoe and what his sponsors would think of it. When the press hounds asked Woods about his Nike contract, he said sternly, “I’m still wearing their product.” 

Woods smiling at fans during a tournament
Source: Tiger Woods/X

Woods is the poster face for Nike in golf. Though Nike has several young golf stars representing the brand, with some of them adorning TW gears, Nike may end up pulling billions of dollars from their golf promotion schemes. 

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