Monday , May 20 2024

Tiger Woods announces his $500m deal with Nike is OVER after 27 years with the sportswear giant

  • Tiger Woods has confirmed his $500million deal with Nike is over after 27 years
  • Recent reports suggested losing Woods was part of Nike ending its golf division
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Tiger Woods has confirmed his $500million deal with Nike is over after 27 years with the sportswear giant.

The golf icon first started wearing Nike when he was just 20, and the company has provided his iconic Sunday red looks and gifted fans with legendary commercials.

But rumors of a potential split have been gathering steam in recent weeks amid reports Nike is planning to shut down its golf division entirely.

And now Woods has announced he’s going in a different direction in a statement released on Monday morning. 

He posted : ‘Over 27 years go, I was fortunate to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world.

‘The days since have been filled with so many amazing moments and memories, if I started naming them, I could go on forever. 

‘Phil Knight’s passion and vision brought this Nike and Nike Golf partnership together 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!’.

There have been rumblings the golfer and the company could part ways ever since Woods’ miraculous comeback last year after his horror 2021 car crash.

Woods raised eyebrows when he rocked up at the Masters in April 2022 to make his return to the course after the single-car accident, which almost cost him his leg, in a pair of FootJoy golf shoes, instead of his usual Nike.

He explained his footwear choice to the media, saying: ‘I have very limited mobility now. Just with the rods and plates and screws that are in my leg, I needed something different, something that allowed me to be more stable. That’s what I’ve gone to.’

Nike backed up Woods’ decision with a press release that read: ‘Like golf fans around the world, we are delighted to see Tiger back on the course.

‘He is an incredible athlete, and it is phenomenal to see him returning to the game at this level. His story continues to transcend sport and inspire us all. As he continues his return, we will work with him to meet his new needs.’

Woods also wore FootJoys at the Masters again this year and at the Hero World Challenge last month but it appears the rift is now expanding beyond shoes.

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But, despite speculation, the move doesn’t appear to harbor any bitter feelings but is rather a business decision.

According to No Laying Up, Nike is said to be considering a move to shut down its golf division. Nike stopped making golf equipment in 2016 and has only sold apparel since.

Other brand ambassadors, including Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Brook Koepka reportedly could also leave Nike for good.

Nike’s closure of its golf division would bring down the curtain on a 40-year stint of making apparel and equipment for the sport.

After Nike stopped manufacturing equipment, Woods turned to TaylorMade, which does have an apparel section, albeit limited.

Woods’ first contract with Nike in 1996 was reportedly worth $40m over five years, followed by an estimated $100m contract signed in 2001 over another five years, according to ESPN.

He penned another eight-year deal in 2006 for an estimated $20-40 million annually, which was extended in 2013 for an undisclosed sum, according to Forbes. It is believed his current deal is worth $200m.

If they do split, Woods wouldn’t be the first leading athlete to part ways with Nike following a profitable partnership.

Soccer star Lionel Messi left Nike for Adidas in 2005, Kobe Bryant did the reverse switch Adidas for his own lune with Nike, and Simone Biles left the sportswear giant for Athleta.

More to follow. 

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