Tiger Woods ‘It Was a Hell of a Round’ Ends Nike Partnership After 27 Years

Golf legend Tiger Woods has parted ways with sports and apparel giant Nike after 27 years of iconic partnership.

Woods was all praises for the global brand saying he was fortunate to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world. He first signed a $40 million five-year contract with Nike in 1996 as a promising golfer, a professional, in 1996. This emerged as one of the most lucrative partnerships in sports history.

“Over 27 years ago, I was fortunate to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world. The days since have been filled with so many amazing moments and memories, if I started naming them, I could go on forever.”

Woods highlighted that Phil Knight’s passion and vision brought this Nike and Nike Golf partnership together. “I want to personally thank him, along with the 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. See you in LA!”

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Nike confirmed the same. It posted 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.”

Tiger Woods – Nike Partnership Was a Win-Win

Back in 1996, when Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, sealed the deal with Woods, he described the golfer as a generational, game-changing athlete. With Woods as the face of the brand’s golf line, Nike became a leading global brand.

Tim Derdenger, an associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said the Woods and Nike partnership was a win-win for everybody. He pointed out that when Woods turned professional, Nike didn’t have a strong prominent position in the golf industry. The brand struck gold when it launched its golf line with the upcoming star.

“What better person in hindsight to then bring out this phenomenal teenage, generational player to then launch their golf brand and apparel brand for Nike? He is golf, he is that person who brought the game to a massive amount of people over the last 25 years. This was sort of the modus operandi for Nike and it still is to this day – to go out and find these athletes that are generational, or some of the best of their time, and build brands around them to help them drive sales of Nike products.”

Nike in a statement said it was grateful to have been part of Woods’ career. “Throughout our partnership, we have witnessed along with the rest of the world, how Tiger not only redefined the sport of golf but broke barriers for all of sport.”

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Nandika Chand