Tiger Woods is leaving Nike after 27 years – a deal that helped him mint a billionaire

Sport

Tiger Woods’ endorsement deal with Nike is over, the legendary golfer announced on social media Monday, capping the partnership which was among the most famous—and lucrative—between an athlete and an apparel brand ever.
The Masters - Final Round

Tiger Woods and Nike have parted ways after 27 years and $500 million.

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Key Takeaways
  • Woods, who had endorsed Nike since joining the professional ranks in 1996, was previously under a reported 10-year contract inked in 2013.
  • Nike acknowledged the parting of ways in an Instagram post, saying “it was one hell of a round, Tiger.”
  • Nike and Woods did not give any reason for the split, but rumours swirled over the last several months about the looming separation, as Woods had declined to comment on his long-term future with Nike and wore other brands’ golf apparel over recent months.
  • Woods said Monday there will be “another chapter,” though it’s unclear whether the 48-year-old golfer was referring to his playing career or a different apparel endeavour.
Big Number

$500 million. That’s how much Woods reportedly netted from Nike.

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Woods to be worth $1.1 billion, thanks to some $1.8 billion in endorsements and tournament winnings throughout his career. Woods is one of three professional athletes minted a billionaire. The others, NBA greats Michael Jordan and LeBron James, also largely have Nike to thank for their 10-figure fortunes, and remain ambassadors of the brand.

Key Background

Arguably the most famous golfer of all time, Woods is the PGA Tour’s all-time leader in prize money and has won the second-most major tournaments. Much of Woods’ success came while donning a red Nike polo. Nike grew to be one of the largest companies in the world while Woods was under contract. Shares of the company posted a roughly 1,800% return since Nike inked Woods 27 years ago, doubling the return of the S&P 500, according to FactSet data. Phil Knight, Nike’s billionaire cofounder, said of Woods in 2019: “He’s not only basically the most talented player in the game, he’s also the hardest worker and he’s also the toughest mind.”

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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