Amid Reports of a Fractured Partnership With Nike, Tiger Woods’s Mammoth $300 Million Influence Gets Revealed

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Can you measure Tiger Woods’s impact in tangible terms? Well, one person can. In fact, he did just two years after signing Woods for his brand, Nike. Although 27 years earlier, the name Tiger Eldrick Woods didn’t ring any bell for most, Nike went ahead to sign the soon-to-be world-famous prodigy. Two years later, the megabrand’s balance sheet evinced the stellar decision that it was.

Notably, Woods was still an amateur. But the 20-year-old had already sent shockwaves in golf’s inner circles by clinching three consecutive U.S. Amateur Championship titles, a first in history. Phil Knight, the Nike CEO, perhaps, had a hunch that this would be the first of many historic-shattering feats this young kid would go on to achieve.

Joe Pompliano, an entrepreneur and investor, revealed some staggering stats to showcase Tiger Woods’s impact on the sports brand. When the apparel brand first signed Woods, the company was worth $30 million. Two years later, their profit saw a tenfold increase. The host of the Joe Pomp Show said, “Nike Golf was doing $30 million in annual revenue before signing Tiger Woods. But just two years after signing Tiger Woods, that number increased to $300 million in annual revenue.

Reportedly, the first partnership between Woods and Nike was for $40M. In his debut year at the PGA Tour, the former World No.1 bagged two titles. He went on to win his first Major at the Augusta next year, in addition to hauling in three regular titles at the Tour. That was just the beginning of a career garlanded with 82 PGA Tour wins and 15 Majors.

So, for Nike, there were enough reasons to stick with their icon through turbulent times. The patience paid dividends when the veteran golfer came back from behind to win his fifth Masters in 2019, 11 years after he won his 14th Major. Pompliano said, “It’s also estimated that Tiger’s 2019 Masters final round victory was worth over $22 million to Nike in brand exposure alone.

The last of Tiger Woods’s contract extension with Nike came in 2013 for a reported fee of $200M. However, the ten-year deal is nearing its deadline this year. Many, including Pompliano, believe we have already seen Tiger Woods sporting the Swoosh for the last time.

Asked about the future of the deal, Tiger Woods gave a rather cryptic answer: “I’m still wearing their product.” It can either be read as a pragmatic assertion for future negotiations or as a diplomatic response to sidestep the thorny issue. This was also the only time he spoke about Nike in the past one and a half years.

Notably, multiple reports suggest that Nike is looking to run their golf apparel business through Srixon/Cleveland. Pompliano too believes, “(A)fter 27 years and more than $500 million in payments, this partnership might finally be ended.

On the other hand, TaylorMade Golf, Tiger Woods’s club sponsor, is also foraying into the apparel business. Furthermore, TaylorMade’s Christmas video with Woods as ‘Mac-Daddy Santa’ and his ‘elves’ has been read as an indication of a future partnership as well.

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