You scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours.
This seems to be the unofficial mantra between Nike and Tiger Woods, as the pair are on the verge of signing a new deal that would keep Woods as the highest paid endorser in golf, according to Wood’s agent, Mark Steinberg.
The relationship between Nike and Woods began in 1996, when he signed a deal reported to be worth more than $100 million. Nike has served as Woods’ most loyal endorser throughout his career, and did not follow the paths of Gillette, Accenture, AT&T and Gatorade by dropping Woods following his infidelity scandal in 2009.
Woods’ current contract is set to end at some point this year, but Steingberg told ESPN.com that signing with another apparel and equipment sponsor was never a serious possibility and that “we’re down to the very, very short strokes right now … I would expect we would come out with some sort of joint announcement when we get the paperwork signed. I hope this is viewed as a pretty bold statement.”
Steinberg would not elaborate on the details of the deal, but said they are pleased the world’s No.1 golfer will be able to continue his 17-year relationship with Nike.
“This process went as such where I never had to get out in the market to test the waters in a formal way,” Steinberg said. “That’s a good thing, because I think some of the most memorable moments throughout Tiger’s career to date are linked with Nike.”
Woods has worn Nike apparel since 1996, but did not began using their equipment until 2000 — when he hit the Nike golf ball well enough to win three majors.
The 37-year-old has 78 PGA Tour victories and 14 major championships in his career. Being just four PGA Tour titles behind Sam Snead and four major championships behind Jack Nicklaus, it now seems certain that if the day comes for Woods to surpass these legends, it will be done in his infamous Sunday Nike reds.
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