- It has been announced that golf icon Tiger Woods will be leaving Nike.
- The 4x PGA champion signed his first contract worth $40 million with the brand in 1996.
Tiger Woods has established himself as a sporting great and has touched heights no one can come close to in the coming years. The golf legend boasts five Master wins, as well as four PGA championships and three US Open championships. The American has also built quite the business empire for himself, boasting his presence in the billionaire club. LeBron James and Tiger are the only two active athletes who are billionaires.
Tiger’s career has been in major doubt in the last few years. This isn’t all that surprising considering his age, but it looks like he isn’t calling it just yet. However, another update from Woods has sent the sporting world into meltdown. Recently, Nike announced on Instagram that their partnership with the icon would be coming to an end.
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The decision has left many baffled and has raised questions over Tiger’s contracts with the brand. The superstar signed his first contract with the apparel in 1996, which was worth $40 million for five years, per several reports. After that, Tiger’s second contract with Nike was for another five years, but for $100 million this time. This wasn’t a huge surprise at the time as it was when his sheer dominance left the golf world speechless.
He was the youngest golfer to win the career grand slam at just 24, winning the 1997 Masters, 1999 PGA Championship, 2000 Open Championship, and 2000 U.S. Open. The hundred million figure surely was a big figure at the time, but it was all worth it for Nike, considering the impact Tiger has had on the sport.
At the end of the five years, Tiger signed an eight-year deal and received approximately $40 million per year. At the end of the period in 2013, the legend signed his biggest contract with Nike, worth $200 million for 10 years. That brings his total earnings from Nike to a whopping $500 million.
Will Tiger Woods retire?
One of the main reasons for ending the partnership with Nike would be that the brand isn’t involved in golf anymore. The company announced in 2016 that it would not be producing golf equipment, but several athletes were still signed with them. Jason Day has also announced his decision to leave Nike and has signed with newcomers Malbon Golf.
As of now, Woods is without a sponsorship deal, which has sparked major doubts over his golf future. However, the 48-year-old has not announced any plans to retire just yet. The last time he took part in a tournament was in December 2023. He finished 18th at the Hero World Challenge and ended 5th at the PNC Championship with his son Charlie.
Speaking of retirement, Woods said that he would be targeting one tournament each month in 2024. He said, “For ‘24, we are pretty sound, and obviously I think we are going to make some adjustments, possible adjustments probably end of the year, however things shake out.” (Via Golf Monthly) He also mentioned that his ankle injury wasn’t his biggest setback at the moment, but the aim is still to come back.
It would be interesting to see how Tiger performs next year, overcoming continuous setbacks. Moreover, it surely will be a different sight to witness him set foot on the course in anything other than Nike apparel.