Tiger Woods will on Feb. 12 announce his first moves following the end of his 27-year-long Nike sponsorship deal which ended January.
The American golfer, considered the sport’s all-time great, has been linked with American golf equipment brand Taylor Made since December, when the company filed a trademark called “Sunday Red”, which has long been a reference to Wood’s preference for wearing a red shirt every Sunday since his amateur career days. Golf websites have speculated Woods and Taylor Made are set to launch a brand together.
The trademark covers a range of apparel, eyewear, golf equipment including clubs and balls, accessories such as bags, and physical and online retail services.
Woods’ announcement will be made at a press conference in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. The invite makes no reference to Taylor Made or any other brand, and simply states: “Come be a part of the next chapter”.
Woods made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old at the Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, in 1992.
The legendary golfer — who went on to win 15 major professional golf championships, including four PGA Championship wins — first signed with Nike in 1996 on a five-year, $40 million deal, which at the time was the sport’s largest-ever endorsement contract. Despite Woods signing a 10-year contract extension in 2013, Nike ceased manufacturing golf equipment — such as clubs and balls — three years later.
Major athletes are increasingly leaving behind sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike or Adidas towards the end of their careers to partner with lesser-known brands, often in exchange for equity or their own dedicated sub-brand.
In 2019, Roger Federer acquired a three percent stake in Swiss performance running label On and helped it launch its tennis footwear category, following the end of his Nike endorsement the year prior. Scottish tennis player Andy Murray has been a shareholder in British sportswear brand Castore since 2019, NBA All-Star Steph Curry left Nike in 2013 in favour of a lifetime deal with Under Armour.