Tiger Woods’ Twenty Seven Year Nike Deal In Numbers: How Much Has He Earned?

Golfing superstar Tiger Woods’ partnership with sportswear giants Nike has come to an end after more than 27 years of collaboration.

Woods has been using Nike clothing and equipment for his entire professional career, starting in 1996. In that time, he’s gone on to win 15 major titles.

The 48-year-old won the Masters in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2019. He triumphed in the PGA Championship in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007, while also winning three US Open titles and three Open Championships.

Tiger Woods was one of the most dominant sportspeople in the world during the late 1990s and 2000s. He transcended the sport of golf and became a global icon, all while dressed head to toe in Nike apparel.

The brand has described Woods as “one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen” and said it was an honour to work with him.

But his career hasn’t been free of controversy and scandal, with Nike sticking with him through some of the toughest times in his life.

How Much Was Tiger Woods’ Nike Deal Worth?

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Tiger Woods’ Nike deal began in 1996, when he was just 20 years old. He signed a five-year deal worth $40m, one of the most lucrative in sports history.

With Nike at his side, Woods would go on to dominate the golfing world for more than a decade. His achievements would put him second on the list of all-time major winners in men’s golf, three behind Jack Nicklaus.

As one of the world’s most recognisable sporting stars, Woods would sign multiple extensions with Nike. One deal was reportedly a 10-year contract worth $200 million.

The partnership between Tiger Woods and Nike was described as a win-win for all parties. A 2013 study into the sponsorship found that Nike recovered 60% of their $200 million investment on the sale of golf balls in the US alone.

Woods switched to Nike balls in 2000, which had an instant impact on the choice of the masses. As a young superstar coming through, Woods became the face of golf for a generation, and was the perfect ambassador for both the sport and Nike’s brand image.

In total, it’s believed Tiger Woods’ Nike deal was worth around $500 million over it’s 27-year run.

Why Did Tiger Woods’ Nike Deal End?

tiger woods golf

It is therefore a big deal when such a huge partnership comes to an end. While nothing last forever, Nike have previously agreed lifetime deals with the likes of basketball stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

The exact reasoning for the Woods deal ending is has not been given. Nike stood by their athlete during one of the most tumultuous periods in his life, with a scandal emerging in 2009.

Woods admitted to being unfaithful to his then-wife, and then in 2017 was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was found to have painkillers and sleeping medication in his system.

After pleading guilty to reckless driving, he underwent treatment for addiction to pain medication. Through all of this, Nike remained loyal to their star man.

With other brands such as Gillette razors and AT&T cutting ties, Nike stood firm and offered their “full support” to Woods.

Why then would they choose to end such an illustrious and resilient partnership? There are several factors at play here.

Firstly, Woods is not getting any younger. His lack of golf in recent years may have influenced the decision on Nike’s end.

As a brand dedicated to supporting the next young hot-shots and rising talents, it may be time for them to help bring through a new generation of golfing stars.

Another reason for the split may be Nike’s rumoured struggles and downsizing of their gold division. In 2016, the company stopped selling clubs, bags and balls due to falling sales.

While their focus moved to footwear and clothing, even a sponsorship deal with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy has not been able to stop the slide. Speculation has suggested Nike may close down its entire golfing department in the near future.

What Next For Tiger Woods?

tiger woods masters golf

Woods has been linked with several brands for a new deal, including Malbon Golf and footwear specialists Sketchers.

Discussing the future after the Nike split, Woods said: “People will ask if there is another chapter. Yes, there will certainly be another chapter.”

There have even been rumours that Woods may be developing his own line of golfing apparel. As for the split with Nike, reports claim it was Woods who walked away from a new deal.

The freedom to pursue his own direction may well help with growing his new golf league. The “TGL” was announced in August 2022 as a joint venture between Woods and McIlroy.

Launching in 2025, the “tech-infused” series features six teams of four across 15 events live on TV. Since the announcement, details have been limited, but should increase in the coming months.

It was hoped the league could launch this year, but construction delays for the host arena have pushed this back.

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