Home Business Tiger Woods and TaylorMade sign clothing deal following split from Nike

Tiger Woods and TaylorMade sign clothing deal following split from Nike

by SuperiorInvest

Tiger Woods and TaylorMade have made it official. The golf great agreed to create a new lifestyle and performance clothing and footwear brand with the Carlsbad, California company, following his recent split with Nike.

The brand, Sun Day Red, will be available exclusively online for the first time starting in May. “Life changes and this is a major transition and I wanted to have a brand that I was proud of in the future,” Tiger said.

Woods says the brand name “Sun Day Red” is a tribute to the fact that he always wears red on Sundays. The tiger logo is a tribute to the 15 majors he has worn throughout his career.

TaylorMade and Woods announced the news Monday night during a press event in Pacific Palisades, California, ahead of the PGA Tour's Genesis Invitational, an event he hosts..

“It's the right time,” Woods said, appearing in a cashmere sweater from the new brand.

Woods' relationship with TaylorMade dates back to 2017, when the two signed an equipment deal that allows him to play with the brand's drivers, fairway woods, irons and wedges.

Woods said he was courted by other companies, but that he trusted TaylorMade for its ability to “do it right.”

TaylorMade CEO David Abeles said Woods had been an inspiration to his team, including his discipline and meticulous approach to product design.

The new brand includes a completely new company with separate headquarters and employees who focus solely on its development, Abeles said.

“There is no TaylorMade influence on this brand. Their brand is independent and it is independent of TaylorMade,” Abeles said.

Last month, Woods announced his separation from Nike, his former apparel partner, after 27 years. Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, told CNBC at the time that the golfer made the business decision not to renew with Nike.

The 15-time Major winner's brand exposure today is less than at the height of his career. Woods has suffered a series of injuries following his 2021 car accident near Los Angeles, in which he suffered multiple leg injuries. Since then, the 48-year-old has made rare appearances in major golf tournaments and his game has been unstable.

However, the deal is still a big win for TaylorMade. Woods still has a lasting legacy, experts say, and continues to draw crowds as fans hope to catch a glimpse of one of the greatest golfers of all time.

“Michael Jordan is still Michael Jordan, and the Air Jordans still perform very well,” said Eric Smallwood, president of Apex Marketing Group, calling on the basketball Hall of Famer for comparison.

Apex has followed Woods' brand exposure throughout his career. Smallwood said the golfer's TaylorMade deal will be a “huge boost” for his brand.

While Woods can be seen less frequently on the golf course, he has taken ownership of a new technology-focused indoor golf league with Rory McIlroy called TGL. He is expected to start next year and has a broadcast deal at ESPN, which could be a big boost for TaylorMade.

Speculation about a Woods-TaylorMade partnership has swirled for months. TaylorMade created a new LLC called TaylorMade Lifestyle Ventures last March, according to Josh Gerben, trademark attorney at Gerben Law. Then in June, the company began filing trademarks including SUNDAY RED, a logo for SUN DAY RED, a tiger logo, and a tiger logo with the letters S, D, R.

Gerben told CNBC that TaylorMade likely introduced the LLC as a way to provide Woods with capital in the new company.

“I thought it was an incredibly unique structure,” he said. “In a sponsorship deal with an athlete, you very rarely see a new entity created just to own it.”

Representatives for Nike and Woods were not immediately available to comment on that deal.

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