Going Their Separate Fairways: Tiger Woods and Nike Part Amicably as Iconic Partnership Ends

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It’s being called the end of an era as golf legend Tiger Woods wraps up his decades-long partnership with sportswear giant, Nike, whose swoosh stripe he has worn throughout 27 years of his preeminent career.

Woods made the official announcement Monday on social media and his own Instagram page, where Nike also confirmed the news. A ten-year contract signed in 2013 came to completion with the onset of the new year, a deal worth an estimated $100 to $200 million according to CNN.

Tiger reportedly “signed multiple deals with the company in a span of nearly three decades,” said CNN. His first $40 million contract awarded for wearing Nike’s swoosh stripe was signed in 1986 before his professional career had even begun.

Golf Digest reports the amicable departure was not unexpected, and had long been rumored to be coming with the 2023 summation of Tiger Woods’ contract. According to Golf Digest, Tiger’s “lucrative contracts with Nike…were part of the reason he was Forbes’ highest earning athlete on the planet for a decade straight, from 2002-2011.”

Woods’ relationship with Nike spans back to the early years of his budding golf career when his unparalleled golf achievements were turning heads and setting records that gained him worldwide acclaim. The brand stayed with him throughout the ups and downs of his life in the public spotlight.

Today Tiger Woods remains one of the most recognized athletes in the world, and in the US “Woods is still one of the best known athletes in the country,” said CNN, quoting a Q Score survey. “Three times better known by the general public than the average athlete.” The survey goes on to state that despite Tiger’s public divorce, “sports fans still have a more positive view of him” than the average athlete.

His unsurpassed achievements in the sport have immutably etched Tiger Woods’ name into the stuff of golf legend, and are credited for much of the sport’s popularity and increased following in the past decades. Some of his major victories include five Masters Tournaments, four PGA Championships, three US Open Championships, and three British Open Championships. In 2001, he became the first golfer to ever hold all four major titles simultaneously.

So what’s next for the Tiger? Despite a severe car accident in 2021 where he almost lost his right leg, in typical Tiger fashion he is back on the greens. After thanking Nike’s co-founder, Phil Knight, for the long standing partnership, the undisputed golf champ hinted at “another chapter” and said “See you in LA,” intimating his intent to compete in the Genesis Invitational in February.

The question remains, what will Tiger be wearing on the greens? Read more here.

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