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  • Writer's pictureDillon George

Tiger Woods Leaves Nike After 27 Years

By: Dillon George

January 30, 2024

Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

All good things must come to an end, they say. However, Tiger Woods’ departure from Nike may have been a long time coming. Widely considered as one of golf’s all-time greats, Woods inked his first deal with Phil Knight's company back in 1996, a five-year agreement worth $40 million. He signed extensions in 2001 and 2006, leading to a 2013 extension rumored to be worth nearly $200 million. While numbers aren’t official, it’s safe to assume Tiger Woods racked up around a half a billion dollars over a 27 year span with the swoosh. 

Despite all this, Woods’ decline in the sport has been evident for quite some time. Although he capped his heroic comeback to professional golf with an iconic win at the 2019 Masters, some people point as far back as his 2009 car crash as the turning point in his career. He only won one major tournament after that, the aforementioned 2019 green jacket, and has since undergone numerous surgeries, as well as suffered another car crash in 2021. 

It didn’t help that Nike has also been moving away from the golf industry. Discontinuing their equipment production in 2016, they have  relied heavily on apparel ever since, and have seemingly fallen behind in the race to the top with Titleist, Callaway, and TaylorMade, to name a few. Woods’ decision to leave comes after another pro golfer, 2015 PGA Championship winner Jason Day, cut ties with the company. It’s speculated that other names such as Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and Brooks Koepka may also follow suit in the coming years. 

While no one can say for sure, it’s rumored that Nike will slowly slip out of the golf industry entirely, redirecting their efforts towards other sports. Regarding Woods, it appears his pen is headed for either a TaylorMade contract–whose clubs he has used since Nike’s departure from equipment in 2016–or Greyson Clothiers, a brand linked with one of his closest friends, Justin Thomas, and rumored to be partnered with his son, Charlie. At 48 years old, however, only time will tell how much longer Tiger will remain on tour and in the global spotlight. 


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