After 20 years as the face of Nike golf and 14 years playing Nike clubs and balls, Tiger Woods will split his endorsements between Nike for apparel and footwear, Bridgestone for balls, and TaylorMade for clubs.
TaylorMade made the announcement at the PGA Show in Orlando while Woods was playing at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Woods was playing TaylorMade’s M2 driver and 3-wood and its new for 2017 M1 5-wood at the event.
Meanwhile, Callaway countered with the signing of LPGA star Michelle Wie, who is now 27 but has been in the public eye since the age of 10 when she qualified for the USGA Amateur Championship and turned professional when she was 16. She will continue to wear Nike apparel.
“Speculation about where Woods and its other pros would land began last August after the Nike announced that they would exit the golf equipment market,” the Sporting Goods Intelligence newsletter reported on its homage. “Fellow Nike star Rory McIlroy now plays Callaway woods and irons, Titleist balls and wedges and uses an Odyssey putter while continuing to sport Nike footwear and apparel. Earlier this month, Jason Day signed an apparel and footwear deal with Nike, but still continues to play all TaylorMade equipment and balls.”
Meanwhile, adidas continues to seek a buyer for its TaylorMade brand which it has been shopping since last spring.
“The past year has seen improved interest in golf with increases in rounds played and improved financial results from competitor Callaway, along with the IPO of the Titleist and Footjoy parent company Acushnet,” says Sporting Goods Intelligence. “But it has also seen a drastic retail consolidation in North America beginning with Sports Authority and Sport Chalet, then Golfsmith declaring bankruptcy.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.