One of Sports' Biggest Endorsement Deals Is Over

Tiger Woods and Nike end partnership after 27 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2024 12:33 PM CST
One of Sports' Biggest Endorsement Deals Is Over
Tiger Woods appears in a Nike commercial in 2010.   (AP Photo/Nike)

Tiger Woods is done wearing the swoosh. The golf giant said Monday that he and Nike have ended their partnership of 27 years, a development that brings to a close what the Wall Street Journal describes as "one of the most prominent endorsement deals in sports." The break appears to be amicable:

  • Joint praise: "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. He made a point to thank co-founder Phil Knight in particular. Nike, for its part, issued a statement calling Woods "one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen."

  • Lucrative: Woods has been with Nike since turning pro, and their deal in 2000 was reportedly worth $100 million, then a record. CNN reports Woods was at one time making $20 million per year from Nike. He signed multiple deals over the years with Nike, including one in 2013 worth about $200 million.
  • A moment: In the view of SBNation, the peak of their partnership came at the 2005 Masters, when Woods made a famous chip-in. "As the ball rolled down the slope and approached the hole, it slowed down and stopped momentarily on the edge of the cup—but in doing so, the Nike logo was clearly visible to everyone watching." Then it rolled in. Watch the moment here.
  • Another: ESPN notes that a young Woods showed up at the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open for his first event as a pro and said to reporters, "I guess, hello, world, huh?" Nike launched a "Hello, World" campaign featuring Woods two days later. He soon had golf apparel and shoes with his name on them in stores.
  • Loyalty: The Journal notes that Nike stuck with Woods when other major sponsors ditched him during his extramarital scandal of 2009; similarly, Woods continued wearing Nike gear on the course after the company got out of the business of making golf equipment (clubs and balls, notably) in 2016.
  • What's next? The 48-year-old Woods remains one of the world's most popular and best-known athletes, as measured by Q Score, according to CNN. In his tweet, he hinted that a new sponsor is on the horizon. "Yes, there will be certainly be a next chapter," he wrote. Woods, notably, has been wearing shoes made by FootJoy of late, explaining they're necessary for stability after his 2021 car crash.
(More Tiger Woods stories.)

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