End of an Era
Tiger Woods announces he and Nike are parting ways after nearly three decades, hints at 'another chapter'
One of the most recognizable sports sponsorships in history is officially coming to an end.
Tiger Woods announced on Monday that he and Nike are parting ways after more than 27 years. Woods thanked the apparel giant's co-founder, Phil Knight, and hinted at "another chapter" in a message posted to Twitter.
"Over 27 years ago, I was fortunate enough 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. Phil Knight's passion and vision brought this Nike and Nike Golf partnership together and 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!"
Nike confirmed the end of this era with the following statement:
“For over 27 years, we have had the honor to partner with Tiger Woods, one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen. Throughout the course of 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. We watched him set records, challenge conventional thinking and inspire generations of people around the globe. We are grateful to have been a part of it. We wish him the best in the future.”
It had been long rumored that this longtime partnership was ending with a 10-year deal Woods signed in 2013 coming to an end. When asked about his future with Nike at the PNC Championship in December, Woods responded, "I'm still wearing their product. I'm still wearing their product."
Woods has worn only worn their product since turning pro in 1996. Woods announced that decision at his famous "Hello, World" press conference, which Knight attended, ahead of his pro debut at the Greater Milwaukee Open.
Woods inked a five-year, $40 million contract to wear the swoosh before ever hitting a shot as a pro. And his lucrative contracts with Nike have only grown since and were part of the reason he was Forbes' highest-earning athlete on the planet for a decade straight from 2002-2011.
Through the years, Woods starred in many Nike commercials, and wore even more versions of his trademark Sunday red shirt. Woods is believed to be planning to make his 2024 PGA Tour debut next month at the Genesis Invitational. What he'll be wearing in L.A., however, remains to be seen.