Tiger Woods’ Partnership With Nike Has Ended After 27 Years Of Sponsorship

The partnership between golfer Tiger Woods and Nike has ended after 27 years, as Nike attempts to cut down its investment in the sport.

Woods released a statement on X — formerly known as Twitter — announcing the big change.

“Over 27 years ago, I was fortunate to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world,” the statement reads.

“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 personally want to thank him, along with the other 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.”

Nike also confirmed the partnership split by posting on Instagram.

“Tiger, you challenged your competition, stereotypes, conventions, the old school way of thinking. You challenged the entire institution of golf. You challenged us. And most of all, yourself. And for that challenge we’re grateful,” the post read.

(Image: Instagram / Nike)

The reason that it’s such a big deal is that the partnership began when Tiger was only 20 years old and brought in literal millions for the brand, and Woods himself.

At the time of signing, he was a golf prodigy who had only just exploded onto the professional golf scene. He signed a five-year deal worth $60 million AUD with the iconic sportswear brand when he turned pro in 1996 — which was fkn HUGE back then

But according to Nine Sports, Tiger’s dad referred to the amount of cashola as “chump change” and he reportedly wasn’t too surprised when they renewed Tiger’s brand deal for a whopping $148 million AUD in 2000.

In 2013, Woods signed his most recent deal with Nike worth more than $297 million AUD. In the almost three decades he was signed with the brand, he reportedly earned more than $743 million before taxes and agent fees.

The sponsorship saw Tiger star in a multitude of ads which not only helped to boost his career but boosted the swoosh-emblazoned products. He also released his own range of golf wear and products.

In the late 2000s, Nike and Wood’s partnership seemed infallible. Especially when he became embroiled in an infidelity scandal that was plastered all over newspapers, news and tabloid magazines. While he lost many other sponsorship deals, Nike remained.

“When his career is over, you’ll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip,” Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight said at the time.

In 2019, Woods won his fifth green jacket by winning the Masters (that’s a big, big deal in the golf world) and gave him somewhat of a comeback. Since then, he’s been sadly riddled with injuries.

According to The Guardian, Nike is in the process of cutting $2 billion from its investment into golf. Back in 2016, the brand stopped making golf equipment. And in 2022, Woods was spotted at the Masters wearing a different brand of shoe rather than Nike shoes which he said was due to the “limited mobility” after a car crash in 2021.

“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,” he said.