Woods announces end of decades-long partnership with Nike

By Reuters   January 8, 2024 | 11:14 pm PT
Tiger Woods, who has worn Nike apparel since first signing with the company as a newly professional 20-year-old, has parted ways with the sportswear giant, the 15-times major champion said on Monday in a social media post.
Tiger Woods of the United States reacts on the ninth green during the third round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on Dec. 02, 2023 in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo by AFP

Tiger Woods of the United States reacts on the ninth green during the third round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on Dec. 2, 2023 in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo by AFP

Woods, now 48, signed his first five-year, $40 million contract with Nike in 1996, and renewed it repeatedly in one of the most lucrative endorsement deals in sports history, while dominating the game like no other player of his generation. His last deal was a 10-year pact in 2013 worth a reported $200 million.

Woods, who returned to competition late last November after a seven-month injury layoff, ended his statement with "See you in LA!", suggesting he is planning on playing the Feb. 15-18 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.

"Over 27 years ago, I was fortunate to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world," Woods wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "The days since have been filled with so many amazing moments and memories, if I started naming them, I could go on forever."

In its own social media post, Nike showed a picture of Woods flashing his trademark fist pump and final-round red top, along with the words: "It was a hell of a round, Tiger."

"Throughout the course of our partnership, we have witnessed along with the rest of the world, how Tiger not only redefined the sport of golf, but broke barriers for all of sport," Nike said in a statement.

"We watched him set records, challenge conventional thinking and inspire generations of people around the globe. We are grateful to have been a part of it. We wish him the best in the future."

Woods praised the "passion and vision" of Nike's former chairman Phil Knight, "and I want to personally thank him, along with the Nike employees and incredible athletes I have had the pleasure of working with along the way.

"People will ask if there is another chapter. Yes, there will certainly be another chapter. See you in LA!"

While Woods had his own brand of clothing and footwear with Nike, he started wearing FootJoy shoes at the 2022 Masters as he said he needed greater stability after suffering serious leg injuries in a February 2021 car crash.

At the time, Nike said it would work with Woods to meet his new needs as he returned to the game.

The ending of the partnership comes after former world number one golfer Jason Day of Australia announced last week that he was leaving Nike for Malbon, a luxury golf apparel brand founded in 2017.

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