After Nike Golf announced last August that they were getting out of the golf club/ball manufacturing business, it became an intriguing race to see who could land the biggest “fish” or should I write “Tiger” that was out on the open market for a new suitor for the first time in over 15 years.
For the past few months, Woods had to have been wooed by everybody from Callaway to Titleist to Taylor Made to the Easter Bunny, in hopes of him wanting to use their sticks.
The first clue of which way he would go with his clubs came obviously, during his exclusive invite small event, the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last December. That weekend, Tiger used a combo of Taylor Made “Woods” and his Nike Irons and a Scotty Cameron Putter and a Bridgestone ball. The combo worked fairly well, as Woods in his first competition in over 15 months led the field in birdies, although he never challenged for the win.
Finally, the long awaited announcement on which clubs (and endorsement deal) had won out came from Tiger himself, Wednesday morning prior to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) January 25, 2017
Enormous victory for Taylor Made.
Although terms weren’t disclosed, a little while later Wednesday Taylor Made CEO David Abeles confirmed at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando that they had signed Tiger to a multi-year deal that included using the Taylor Made M2 Driver starting at The Farmers.
They also released this quick ad showing Woods hitting the M2 on social media:
— TaylorMade Golf (@TaylorMadeGolf) January 25, 2017
There had been more speculation that in the negations, Woods would get equity stake in Taylor Made, as part of the deal, but multiple business reports with sources from Taylor Made and Woods camp confirmed that it’s only an endorsement deal and doesn’t include even partial ownership.
Woods will still wear the Nike “Tiger Woods logoed” hat and shirts and shoes, which is worth a ton still for the swoosh. And for the record, it’s still a Bridgestone golf ball.
But for now, the biggest deal is how Tiger’s “Taylor Made swings” produce, or not. And, it will be scrutiny like they never have seen at Taylor Made.