Tiger Woods: end of the partnership between Nike and the golf legend

After 27 years of collaboration, Tiger Woods and Nike are parting ways. The contract that bound them, which expired at the end of 2023, has not been renewed. An emblematic figure in golf, Tiger Woods has inspired the entire world with his sporting prowess, his story, and his charisma.

 

The 27-year partnership between golfer Tiger Woods and Nike ended in late December 2023.

 

The athlete has been a source of inspiration for the entire world and a source of revenue for Nike. Now 48 years old, Tiger Woods has enjoyed the brand’s support throughout his career and promises a “next chapter” to his fans.

 

A true legend, the golf prodigy has been a strong figure for the Nike brand with numerous successful commercial operations. With an African American father and a Thai mother, Tiger Woods well represents this blend of cultures characteristic of the United States.

 

His success is primarily defined by his commitment from a young age and his dedication, making him an indispensable source of inspiration.

 

His parents met during his father, Earl Woods’s participation in the Vietnam War, while his mother was a secretary for the American army in Bangkok. Back in America, his father regularly played golf while introducing his son, Eldrick Tont Woods, to the sport. He nicknamed him Tiger, in honor of a Vietnamese officer who had reportedly saved him on several occasions.

 

The Birth of a Golf Prodigy on Nike’s Radar

 

Tiger Woods quickly becomes passionate, even obsessed with golf. He is world champion in the 9-10 year category and then begins his career as a professional athlete at the age of 20. Immediately, he signs a $40 million contract with Nike. On this occasion, he utters his iconic phrase “Hello world”, which will be used for communication campaigns with Nike. 42 weeks after entering professional sports, he reaches the world number one spot, a record-breaking speed in the world of golf.

 

His Influence Beyond Sport

 

His charisma and story have had an undeniable impact in the United States and the world of golf. Tournament audiences increased just by his mere presence… as did Nike’s revenue. There’s even talk of the “Woods effect” with a correlation between the tournaments played by the famous golfer and the results of the Dow Jones. In 2001, the New York Post detected optimism among Wall Street traders linked to the athlete’s inspiring victory, with a positive effect on the results of the American stock market “. With the Dow index representing a set of stocks with a market capitalization of about $3.7 trillion and Tiger moving the Dow by an average of 1.2 percent each time he participates in a tournament in the United States, the phenomenon could be called the $45 billion man.” wrote the teams of the New York Post.

 

The Partnership with Nike

 

According to an estimate by AFP, the Nike Golf branch generated more than 10 billion dollars since its partnership with Tiger Woods, with a peak of 791 million in 2013, before this golf division experienced a decrease of -27% in annual revenue until 2017, the last years during which the results were revealed to the public. The last contract concluded between Nike and Tiger Woods was worth 200 million dollars and dated precisely from 2013, its expiration having arrived at the end of 2023.

 

 

Tiger Woods’s career as a professional athlete has been marked by several injuries and accidents. Now 48 years old, the golfer has not won a major tournament for 15 years and is currently ranked around the 900th place in the world.

 

The decision not to renew the contract thus seems natural. It is very likely that Tiger Woods has new projects in mind. “People will ask if there is another chapter. Yes, there will definitely be another chapter. See you in LA!” he posts on X. Endowed with significant financial capital, it is not impossible that he no longer evolves exclusively in the world of golf.

 

 

“More than 27 years ago, I was fortunate enough to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world. The days that followed were filled with so many incredible moments and memories, if I started naming them, I could go on indefinitely. The passion and vision of Phil Knight brought together this partnership between Nike and Nike Golf and I would like to personally thank him, as well as the employees of Nike and the 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! Tiger” explains Tiger Woods in his post on X. 

 

The Nike teams also paid tribute to the golf legend. “Over the course of this partnership, we have watched, along with the rest of the world, Tiger redefine golf, but also break down barriers that existed in the world of sports in general” states Nike.

 

The equipment manufacturer maintains its contracts with other golfers such as Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wie, and Brooks Koepka. The evolution of its strategy will certainly depend on the popularity of golf but also on the strategic choices of Nike since it is criticized for “to go woke” (becoming too “woke”). Golf being rather a sport recognized for being appreciated by a more conservative clientele, Nike’s investment in the golf branch will have to be considered in the coherence and identity of the brand.

 

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Featured Photo ©KEYSTONE/EPA/CAROLINE BREHMAN

Curieuse et dynamique, Lhou Lagrange est constamment à la recherche de nouvelles aventures. Elle s’intéresse principalement aux nouvelles technologies, aux sciences sociales et à la géopolitique pour décrypter les tendances sociétales et rester agile. D’une âme polyvalente, elle combine ses connaissances et ses compétences pour servir sa jeune plume.

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