Tiger Woods’s Nike Exit: The Ugly Aftermath of the Rumored $500M Fallout Comes to Light

Published 12/19/2023, 7:46 AM EST

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“I’m still wearing their product.” This was Tiger Woods’ response when asked to give clarity on the current situation with Nike with reports of an imminent split swirling around. Woods repeated these words when the question was posed in a different manner. As if the Woods’s response was not enough, there has been a new update revealing what could the end of the nearly three-decade-old Nike-Woods relationship mean for the $31 billion apparel brand.

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As per the news that spread before the PNC Championship, the event could be the last time that the golf world could see Woods donning Nike apparel. The “No Laying Up” podcast hinted that it wasn’t only Nike ending their $500 million partnership with the legendary golfer but also their potential exit from golf entirely! 

According to reports Nike “may be planning to license out its entire golf business.” In the aftermath of this decision, the brand will probably part ways with all the other golfers that it sponsors, such as Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, and Scottie Scheffler. It is said that the impact of this move on the brand will be huge.

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via Reuters

Sam Poser, a senior Williams Trading analyst, in his note to the investors, mentioned, “The changes will likely remove Nike’s presence in golf and will do long-term damage to the brand.” He talked about this scenario, and he thinks the impact of this split could be significant, as Woods is still a huge draw for golf fans and consumers.

The 47-year-old’s departure could hurt Nike’s standing in the golf industry. Nike benefited from its association with the golfer and leveraged it to create a strong golf business. Without him, they may lose some of that cache and connection. Nike’s golf shoes have been a big hit in the market, and it was the 15x major champion that had put it on the map.

Woods signed his first deal with Nike in 1996, worth $40 million over five years. He renewed it in 2001 for $100 million over five years, the biggest sponsorship contract at that time. A third renewal saw him earn $40 million annually for the next eight years. His last extension came in 2013, a 10-year, $200 million contract.

While it may be unfathomable for some to imagine Woods not sporting Nike’s iconic swoosh, his son, Charlie Woods, seems to have already made his decision regarding Nike. The 14-year-old has ditched Nike and signed a deal with Greyson Clothiers, a golf apparel brand. Even with the floating news about its split from Woods and golf, Nike has undergone several changes internally and financially in the past few months.

Latest changes within Nike amidst the Tiger Woods rumors

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Nike seems to be making some big changes, not just in its golf business but also within the company. Before announcing its second-quarter earnings, there were reports of layoffs at Nike. This comes after Nike reported revenue of $12.9 billion in the first quarter, a two percent increase from the previous year.

Notably, according to Statista, in 2023, Nike made around $51.22 billion globally, which is about $4.5 billion more than the previous year. These shifts in the company’s structure and the potential impact on its value will be interesting to watch, especially with the recent news of Nike ending its partnership with Tiger Woods and probably moving out of the golfing industry.

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Given the recent updates, it remains to be seen how Tiger Woods and Nike will officially announce and handle their potential split. What are your thoughts on it? Stay tuned to find all the latest updates on this almost 3-decade-long partnership!

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Written by:

Meharjabin Ara

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I, M?harjabin Ara, joined EssentiallySports as a golf writer because of my intense passion for the game and keen understanding of all of its facets. Growing up watching legends like Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam ignited my fascination with golf, and that spark has ignited my writing journey. With a knack for translating the intricacies of golf into engaging narratives, I intend to bring viewers closer to the action with my vivid storytelling.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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