Saturday, February 24, 2024

Tiger Woods’ cryptic 5-word reply to Nike relationship ending at PNC Championship

Rumors surrounding Tiger Woods and Nike have circled the news for the last few weeks. The 27-year-long relationship between the brand and the athlete could end this year.

Earlier this month, a report from the podcast No Laying Up suggested that Woods and Nike could split up. Woods has been with Nike since 1996, when he was just 20.

The podcast alluded to this week’s PNC Championship being the last time people see him in his iconic Nike red and black outfit. Woods has been seen in his usual brand attire this week, outside his shoes, but Charlie, his son, didn’t have on much Nike. Instead, he had on Greyson Clothiers.

With Charlie not wearing the brand, it sparked some rumors on social media. After the first round, Woods was asked for clarity on his future with the brand.

“I’m still wearing their product,” he replied.

PNC Championship - Round One, Tiger Woods

Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

The reporter tried with a follow-up question, but Woods held firm

“I’m still wearing their product,” he said again.

While the relationship between Nike and Woods has gone up and down over the years, it has been a staple in his brand. His specific contract details have never been made public, but hundreds of millions of dollars have allegedly been paid to the 15-time major winner.

Woods has adjusted to change with Nike. When the brand stopped manufacturing golf clubs in 2016, Woods left for TaylorMade. Could that brand be his next landing place, or is Woods getting into the fashion game by creating his own brand?

Since his car wreck in 2021, Woods hasn’t worn Nike shoes, opting for a pair of FootJoys. When that initially happened, it sent shockwaves across golf because Woods and that swoosh go hand-in-hand.

“With the rods and plates and screws in my leg, I needed something different, something that allowed me to be more stable. And that’s what I’ve gone to,” Woods said back in April.

If Tiger and Nike split up, it would cause another earthquake in golf. He is the face of Nike Golf, and losing him would be disastrous. Big-name athletes have made brand shifts in the past like Kobe Bryant leaving Adidas to join Nike and Simone Biles leaving Nike for Athleta.

However, this would be different because of the two names people associate with Nike: Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.

His answer was pretty cryptic, but Woods didn’t say he was leaving the brand. Only time will tell if this is the end of an era, but for now, tune in on Sunday of the PNC Championship to see him possibly rock the red and black Nike look one final time.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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