‘Hello World’: Tiger Woods’ Official Nike Entry Seeks a New Home as Decades-Old Partnership Finds No Future

Published 12/07/2023, 6:50 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

With the return of Tiger Woods to the greens, a butterfly effect has begun! The 15-time major winner commands an aura unlike anyone else, and his every move undoubtedly has a massive effect. The golf world witnessed exactly how much, however, when the recent rumor mills began flooding with news of yet another split for Woods.

As per recent reports, the golf legend is heading towards ending his nearly three-decade-old partnership with the sports giant Nike. And almost further confirming the news of that divide, his first official word with the billion-dollar company is now on the market for the public!

A strong proof of Tiger Woods and Nike’s deteriorating deal surfaces


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Nike is a big name in the sports industry because of the athletes it signs. And when the company witnessed the rise of Tiger Woods, the brand wasted no time in adding him to their portfolio when he turned pro. Since 1996, the Woods-Nike partnership has been going strong. But after 27 years of a long and fruitful association, the two are now reportedly parting ways.

Next week Woods will be participating in the PNC Championship with his son Charlie Woods, and according to the No Laying Up podcast, this will be the last time he will wear his Nike sneakers. And while neither the golf pro nor Nike have yet confirmed their split, a recent memorabilia almost certainly does!


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The press release of the golf legend’s 1996 Nike tie-up announcement has been put up for auction. The release reads, “Hello World. Tiger Woods goes pro and becomes a Nike athlete.” The timing of the press release going up for sale seems far too convenient to be a coincidence, and perhaps only strengthens the case of the alleged separation rumors.

As per the press release, then Nike Chairman and CEO, Phillip H Knight had said, “Tiger Woods will have a tremendous impact on the world of sports and will change the way people view the game of golf.” Boy was he true! The 82-time PGA Tour winner went on to reshape the entire golf world, and through it making his pairup with Nike an extremely beneficial one.

Nike and Woods both profited from each other


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As per the 1996 press release, the Nike Chairman believed that Woods was on par with other big Swoosh names like Michael Jordan, the NBA GOAT, and John McEnroe, the tennis legend. And not many could now argue against him. Signing Woods undoubtedly saw Nike make hundreds of millions, if not more, and take the recognition of the brand in the sport to a whole new level.

Through the legendary golfer’s endorsement of the brand, Nike found a new target audience of golf enthusiasts and witnessed its sales rocket. Woods on the other hand was rewarded handsomely for this too. In 1996, he was given $40 million for a five-year deal. This was followed by a $100 million to renew this deal after 5 years. Overall throughout the 27 years the golfers has made upward of $500 million from his signings and renewals with Nike.


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The golf legend is now a billionaire, and the apparel giant undoubtedly had a role to play in getting him there. And now that they are perhaps heading in different directions, will it have a huge effect on either side? Tune in to find out!

Watch This Story – Golf World Reacts to Strange Tiger Woods Achievement



Written by:

Shafaque Taha


One take at a time

I am Shafaque Taha, a senior golf writer at EssentiallySports, and here I am living my dream as a storyteller. Combining the knowledge from my master's degree in English literature, which was driven purely out of my passion for reading and writing, with my interest in the serendipity that I believe golf brings, I look to bring words to life for readers with my niche golf coverage. My love for the sport stems from the calming greens and the rush of adrenaline one feels when on them, and I especially enjoy watching LPGA Tour professionals in action.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira