How much did Tiger Woods and Nike earn from cooperation?

Last updated on February 16th, 2024

Tiger Woods red Nike

For nearly three decades, it has been a consistent sight to see Tiger Woods dressed in his signature red shirt adorned with Nike's well-known swoosh logo, playing golf on Sundays. This enduring collaboration between the renowned brand and one of the most remarkable golfers of all time has not only generated immense wealth, but has also elevated Woods to the esteemed billion-dollar club.

According to Forbes' calculations for 2023, Woods' wealth is valued at $1.1 billion, with a significant portion of $500 million originating solely from his partnership with Nike.

It was widely understood that their partnership would eventually come to an end, but Nike (NKE) was one of the few companies that stood by Woods throughout his tumultuous journey, marked by remarkable victories, devastating defeats, numerous injuries, and personal scandals.

On January 8, 2024, Woods caught many off guard by revealing on his social media platforms that he was terminating his agreement with the athletic apparel company - Nike. This partnership had endured for over 28 years.

Nike and Woods cooperation ends

Woods embarked on his journey of endorsement deals and professional success in 1996, at the young age of 20. Prior to this, he had already achieved remarkable milestones such as winning the NCAA golf championship and three U.S. Amateur titles. Recognizing his exceptional talent, the PGA honored him with the prestigious title of Rookie of the Year.

Woods was honored by Sports Illustrated as their "Sportsman of the Year" (a title he would receive again in 2000). They declared that "in a mere two months as a professional, he revolutionized the sport," and they were not exaggerating. Within a year, Woods rose to the top spot in global golf rankings, and the game of golf gained a newfound sense of popularity.

It is worth noting that although Woods was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a baseball cap without any logo, it was not long before all of his clothing would proudly display Nike's symbol. This happened when Woods signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with Nike on August 27, 1996, for a whopping $40 million, making it the most lucrative athletic endorsement ever at that time.

During that time, Tiger's father, Earl Woods, dismissed the amount as insignificant. However, his prediction proved to be accurate, as Nike would eventually renew his contract on four separate occasions, with the final renewal in 2013 amounting to a staggering $200 million.

TimePeriodMoney
19965 years$40 million
20015 years$100 million
20067 years$160 million
201310 years$200 million
total$500 million

Nike's profits soared as Tiger Woods' wealth grew exponentially. The sportswear giant capitalized on their association with the talented golfer, gaining immeasurable amounts of positive publicity. Nike acknowledged Woods' remarkable achievements, his ability to defy norms, and his ability to motivate people worldwide. However, they also reaped substantial financial benefits from their partnership with him.

Tiger Woods exclusively sported Nike footwear and clothing, and later utilized their golf clubs and balls for competition. Nike experienced a significant increase in revenue from $4.76 billion to $9.19 billion between 1995 and 1997. In 2002, the company even introduced a separate division called Nike Golf. Although golf equipment sales never reached the same level as apparel, Nike Golf consistently generated revenues ranging from $500 to $800 million from 2006 to 2017, as stated in company annual reports.

Over the span of more than 27 years, Nike witnessed a remarkable surge in its share price, increasing by a staggering 1,470%. Taking into account stock splits and dividends, the overall return amounts to approximately 2,000%.

Tiger Woods' crimson Nike shirts became an emblem of resilience, might, and victory over hardship; ESPN even conducted a study on the shades of red he sported — and to clarify, Woods actually achieved the most victories in lighter, pinkish tones, but he made the most earnings in richer shades of red.

However, it wasn't solely Tiger's reputation that generated millions; his skills did as well. Woods was renowned for his remarkably forceful - perhaps even captivating - golf swing that introduced a higher degree of athleticism to the sport. When Woods triumphed in the Masters in 2019, marking his first significant win in over a decade, experts approximated that Nike had garnered $22.5 million in brand visibility from his final round alone, as reported by Reuters.

Maybe we should have noticed the signs when Woods switched from Nike shoes to Footjoy following a serious car accident in 2021. The crash left him with severe injuries, leading to the insertion of metal rods and screws in his leg.

In his goodbye statement, Woods demonstrated the wisdom he gained from his experience working with Nike's advertising apparatus by alluding to an "additional section" … And we eagerly anticipate discovering what lies ahead. As we are all aware, when Tiger Woods dedicates himself to a pursuit, the outcome is truly remarkable.

young Tiger Woods

Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods, born on December 30, 1975, to parents Earl and Kultida Woods, quickly gained recognition as a golf prodigy. At the tender age of three, he showcased his talent by competing against comedian Bob Hope on "The Mike Douglas Show." His exceptional skills were highlighted in a Golf Digest article when he was just five years old. Remarkably, by the age of eight, he had already emerged victorious in his age category at the Junior World Golf Championship.

In the past, the only income he received from his victories was in the shape of twenty-five cent coins obtained through putting competitions.

As a teenager, Woods' talent in golf was undeniable, earning him numerous victories and catching the attention of prestigious college golf teams. Eventually, he decided to join Stanford University, but his time there was cut short as he opted to pursue a professional golf career after only two years.

Woods, at the young age of 21, displayed an indomitable spirit. He triumphed in the 1997 Masters competition with an astounding lead of 12 strokes, simultaneously establishing an unprecedented record-breaking viewership on television. His victory in The Masters rewarded him with a substantial sum of $486,000.

This marked the beginning of the phenomenon known as the "Tiger Effect," a term used to describe the significant influence Woods had on the sport. When Woods was not competing in tournaments, the number of people watching on television dropped by up to 50%. Forbes also credited the increase in tournament prize money from 1996 to 2008 to the impact of the "Tiger Effect".

As reported by Golf Digest, Woods experienced a significant increase in his tournament earnings after 1996. In 2000, his winnings exceeded $11 million, thanks to his triumph in 6 PGA Tour tournaments, including the U.S. Open, for which he received a substantial $800,000 prize. In the following years, Woods achieved consecutive victories in the Masters tournaments of 2001 and 2002.

Additionally, he emerged as the champion in other major golf events of the same year, namely the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship. This remarkable feat came to be known as the "Tiger Slam".

In 2005, Woods achieved victory once more at the Masters, executing a shot that is hailed as one of golf's most legendary moments. During the last round, he skillfully chipped the ball from a challenging position in the rough on the 16th hole. As it traveled, the ball unexpectedly veered left, but miraculously changed direction and descended down a slope, ultimately landing in the hole. The audience erupted with excitement, and this remarkable scene captivated television viewers worldwide.

In 2005, Woods earned a total of $11.99 million from his participation in tournaments, while in 2006, his earnings amounted to $11.94 million.

In 2007, he earned over $22 million by emerging victorious in the PGA Championship. Despite a knee injury that caused him to miss a portion of the 2008 season, he triumphed in the U.S. Open. Woods continued his success in 2009, pocketing $21 million through his remarkable performances, which included winning the Presidents Cup. However, he did not secure a top spot in any major tournament that year.

YearAward
1996$894,060
1997$2,380,831
1998$2,927,946
1999$7,681,625
2000$11,034,530
2001$7,771,562
2002$8,292,188
2003$6,700,288
2004$6,370,407
2005$11,992,739
2006$11,941,827
2007$22,902,706
2008$7,737,626
2009$21,015,196
2010$2,294,116
2011$2,067,059
2012$9,124,386
2013$12,091,508
2014$610,775
Total$155,831,375

In November 2009, news emerged about Woods' unstable conduct after his Cadillac Escalade collided with a fire hydrant, a tree, and some bushes near his residence in Windermere, Florida. Numerous sensational magazines published articles connecting the accident to an alleged romantic involvement between Woods and Rachel Uchitel, a nightclub manager from New York.

Woods promptly issued an apology to his family, owning up to his actions and acknowledging his unfaithfulness in marriage. Subsequently, numerous women came forward, asserting connections with Woods during his marriage, leading him to declare his decision to temporarily step away from golf.

Woods faced a time of great sorrow, and its impact was evident in his performance on the golf course. Prior to the scandal of infidelity, his wealth was believed to be approximately $800 million. However, during the years 2010 and 2011, he only earned a meager $2 million annually from PGA events. Moreover, he suffered significant financial losses due to the termination of numerous lucrative endorsement contracts, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars. In the subsequent years, he made efforts to revive his golf career, but was hindered by persistent leg injuries.

Woods, always the resilient one, made a remarkable comeback in 2012, pocketing a hefty $9 million after triumphing in the Farmer's Insurance Open and participating in the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open. The following year, his earnings soared to $12 million, thanks to his outstanding victories at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and the Players Championship.

Throughout the year of 2014, Woods was plagued by back injuries, resulting in his withdrawal from numerous tournaments, including the Masters, an event he had not missed since 1995. Another back surgery kept him from participating in the Masters the following year as well. In total, he underwent five surgeries to address his back issues, which led to him spending a significant amount of time away from the golf course in 2016 and 2017. Despite his absence, Forbes estimated his net worth to have risen back to $700 million by 2015.

In the month of April in 2017, Woods was discovered in an unresponsive state inside his Mercedes-Benz and was apprehended for operating a vehicle while being influenced by substances. Analysis of his bodily fluids unveiled proof of the presence of five prescribed drugs, such as Vicodin, Xanax, and Ambien. This marked a significant decline for him.

Finally, Woods' unwavering resolve propelled him to revive both his professional and personal life. The year 2018 witnessed his resurgence as he reclaimed his vigor and secured the runner-up position at the PGA Championship. Remarkably, at the age of 43 in 2019, Woods triumphed at the Masters, etching his name as the second oldest player to achieve this feat. (Jack Nicklaus remains the oldest, capturing the title at the age of 46 in 1986.) Woods' victory was accompanied by a substantial $2 million prize.

Tiger rolex

Excelling in sports is no small feat, but Tiger Woods took it a step further by becoming a cultural icon. With a diverse background that includes Black, Chinese, Dutch, Native American, and Thai descent, Woods inspired countless individuals, particularly minorities, who could relate to his groundbreaking achievements.

Ever since his debut in 1996, Woods has been a constant presence in popular culture. He has graced the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, attended awards ceremonies, hosted MTV's "Total Request Live", and performed at his own charitable foundation's "Tiger Jam" concerts. Notably, Woods has also been referenced in numerous songs by renowned rappers such as Childish Gambino, Common, Jay-Z, Ice Cube, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Mos-Def, Nas, Nelly, and Chris Rock, who notably mentioned him in a song.

Woods' presence was impossible to escape as his image adorned billboards, television screens, and later, internet advertisements. His fame extended beyond the recording studios, thanks to lucrative endorsement contracts worth millions of dollars. Here are a few notable celebrity deals Woods secured, apart from his partnership with Nike:

  • From 1998 to 2013, Woods had a lucrative $105 million deal with Electronic Arts to appear in their widely played PGA Tour video game series. It is estimated that Electronic Arts generated a substantial $771 million in revenue during this timeframe.
  • From 2000 to 2008, General Motors shelled out a hefty sum of $60 million to Woods. Their intention? To inject a dose of coolness into their Buick line of vehicles, with a particular focus on capturing the attention of the younger generation of drivers.
  • At the start of his career, Titleist awarded Woods with a contract worth $20 million for a span of five years. This exclusive deal required Woods to solely utilize Titleist golf balls, golf clubs, and golf bags.
  • Woods received a generous sum of $13 million from American Express for a period of five years, joining the esteemed group of celebrity credit card endorsers that includes renowned personalities like Jerry Seinfeld.
  • Accenture awarded Woods a lucrative contract worth $35 million over a span of five years, entrusting him to serve as the prominent figure for their captivating advertising campaign titled "Go on, Be a Tiger".
  • Woods received a generous sum of $10 million from Tag Heuer to join forces in creating a groundbreaking golf timepiece made of titanium.
  • Gillette had signed a lucrative agreement worth $20 million with Woods, which involved the promotion and sale of their shaving products.
Tiger Woods partners Gillette

Furthermore, in 2007, Gatorade and Woods had supposedly agreed to a contract worth $100 million over five years. However, this agreement was terminated following Woods' marital scandal in 2009. Additionally, Woods also lost partnerships with Gillette, Accenture, and several other companies.

According to Harvard Business Review, Woods' sponsors suffered even greater losses than he did. They estimate that Woods lost $50 million in endorsements, but the financial impact on his sponsors was much larger. In the aftermath of the scandal, their market caps dropped by 2% in just 10 to 15 trading days, resulting in a staggering loss of up to $12 billion.

Elin Nordegren

Woods' troubled spouse, Elin Nordegren, could be seen as one of the few beneficiaries of his infidelity ordeal, even though their marriage was permanently shattered. According to Forbes, Nordegren obtained a $100 million settlement from Woods during their divorce in 2010. The ex-model and nanny crossed paths with Woods in 2001 through a mutual acquaintance, and they tied the knot in 2004, eventually welcoming two children into their lives, Sam and Charlie.

young Tiger and his children

Following the completion of their divorce, Nordegren successfully obtained a psychology degree from Rollins College, achieving an impressive 3.96 GPA. She had the honor of delivering the Commencement address to her fellow graduates. From 2013 to 2017, she was romantically involved with billionaire Chris Cline, and in 2019, she began a relationship with NFL tight end Jordan Cameron. Together, they share a son named Arthur.

It is rumored that Nordegren put a substantial amount of her divorce settlement into various investments. One notable investment was the acquisition of a lavish residence in North Palm Beach, Florida, for a staggering $12 million. Surprisingly, she managed to sell this property in 2018 for an impressive $28 million, reaping considerable profits. According to celebrity net worth websites, her current wealth is estimated to be around $200 million.

Even the caddies of Woods earn a good amount of money. It is commonly believed that professional golfers give a small portion of their winnings to their caddies, who do much more than just carry their equipment. These caddies often act as trusted advisors, offering valuable insights and calm advice to golfers in high-pressure situations.

Steve Williams, the initial caddie for Wood, is said to have accumulated around $12 million over the course of his ten-year tenure with Woods. However, their professional relationship came to an end in 2011 due to a disagreement, leading Woods to enlist the services of his current caddy, Rob McNamara. According to various websites, Williams is now reportedly worth $9 million.

Tiger Woods established the TGR Foundation in 1996, a philanthropic organization with the objective of offering support and educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to disadvantaged youth. Among its prominent activities is "Tiger Jam," a lively Las Vegas event spanning a weekend, combining the joys of golf and music. Since its inception, this event has successfully generated $22 million in funding for the TGR Foundation.

In its 2022 fiscal year, the foundation achieved revenues totaling $22 million.

In 2013, Woods made a sale that caught the attention of Architectural Digest. His luxurious waterfront mansion in Windermere, Florida, spanning over 8,000 square feet, was sold to his golfer friend, Bubba Watson, for a cool $2.2 million.

At present, Woods lives in a massive mansion spanning 12 acres in Jupiter. This extraordinary residence offers 9,700 square feet of living space, including a golf studio, an oxygen therapy chamber, several pools, and a guest house. The construction of this opulent abode cost him $54 million, but its current value ranges between $75 million and $100 million.

He additionally purchased two neighboring plots of land in Jupiter. One was acquired at a cost of $2.4 million for his mother, while the other, priced at $1.31 million, was meant for his father's residence.

It remains uncertain if he continues to possess the condominium in Newport Beach, California, that he acquired during the early 2000s, or the holiday residence in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that he purchased alongside Nordegren in 2005. Furthermore, in 2010, Woods made a financial commitment to a high-end resort in the Bahamas, a luxurious 600-acre development known as Albany on the island of New Providence.

Tiger Woods' Toys

Woods certainly knows how to make a grand arrival. In 2004, he acquired a colossal yacht called "Privacy" for a staggering $20 million. This magnificent vessel boasts an impressive layout, featuring five bedrooms spanning across three levels. Additionally, it offers delightful amenities such as an observation tower, a jacuzzi, a gym, a wet bar, and even a decompression chamber designed specifically for scuba diving enthusiasts. Rumor has it that Woods occasionally spends his nights on this luxurious yacht, particularly before important golf tournaments.

How does Woods travel to his games, you ask? Well, he takes a luxurious Gulfstream G550 jet worth a staggering $54 million. This extravagant aircraft ensures that Woods and his entourage of 17 other passengers arrive at their tournaments in utmost comfort and style.

The undeniable talent of Woods has sparked many discussions as to why he stands out among other players and is often considered the greatest in the history of golf.

In the year 2018, as Woods was in the process of recovering from another surgery on his back, Golf Digest had a conversation with some of the game's renowned retired players. The purpose of the discussion was to explore the profound impact that Woods had on the sport.

The unexpected responses from each player revealed a diversity of strengths, ultimately emphasizing the multifaceted nature of Tiger Woods' greatness.

  • During the 2003 Presidents Cup, Tiger Woods displayed his exceptional understanding of the game by executing the necessary moves to achieve remarkable shots. Jack Nicklaus acknowledged Woods' ability to assess the situation and take the required actions, just as he did in his intense face-off with the renowned Ernie Els.
  • Gary Player discussed Woods' physical prowess, the tranquil aura he exuded, as if he were predestined for greatness, and his knack for executing shots in high-stakes situations.
  • According to Lee Trevino, Woods' mastery of his swing was so impeccable that it almost became a 'disadvantage' for him.
  • Johnny Miller discussed Tiger Woods' remarkable ability to elevate his putting performance in crucial moments, contrasting with many professional golfers who succumb to nerves and struggle with their putting, a phenomenon commonly referred to as the "yips".
  • According to Nick Faldo, Woods possessed an extraordinary talent for adequately preparing for every tournament. He tackled each shot with the mindset that it could be the ultimate round. Additionally, he had the remarkable ability to transform the immense spotlight on him into a powerful force that propelled him forward.

Not only did players and fans recognize the exceptional qualities of Woods, but Madison Avenue also took notice, elevating his wealth to the billion-dollar realm. This exclusive league is occupied by only three other remarkable athletes: NBA icons LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson, each of them considered legends in their own domain.