Tiger Woods signed his fourth golf endorsement agreement with Nike Inc. (NKE), the world’s largest sporting-goods company.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed yesterday in an e-mailed statement from Nike, based in Beaverton, Oregon.
Mark Steinberg, Woods’s agent, said last month that he expected the next contract to keep the 14-time major tournament winner with the company for the rest of his career and leave him as Nike’s highest-paid golf endorser. Steinberg didn’t return an e-mail yesterday seeking additional comment.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Tiger,” Cindy Davis, president of Nike’s golf division, said in the statement. “He is one of Nike’s most iconic athletes and has played an integral part in Nike Golf’s growth since the very beginning.”
Woods’s current agreement, signed in 2006, was set to expire this year. The new contract was signed two weeks ago during meetings in Florida, according to ESPN, which first reported the negotiations last month.
Woods, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, and the sport’s other top players begin play today in the British Open, golf’s third major championship of the year. The tournament is being played at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland.
The 37-year-old Woods has endorsed Nike’s golf division since turning professional in 1996 and re-signed with the company in 2001 and 2006.
Woods’s agreement with Nike has been reported to be worth as much as $20 million a year since he signed a five-year contract in 2001, replacing an original $40 million agreement.
In March, Golf Digest magazine said Woods earned $77 million off the course in endorsements in 2012, while Sports Illustrated reported Woods’s 2012 earnings at closer to $40 million. Steinberg has called such rankings inaccurate.
While Woods lost endorsement deals with AT&T Inc., Accenture Plc (ACN) and TAG Heuer watches following a marital scandal in 2009, Nike remained by his side.
Woods has won four times on the U.S. PGA Tour this year, finished fourth at the Masters Tournament in April and was 32nd at the U.S. Open last month at Merion Golf Club. He hasn’t won a major tournament since the 2008 U.S. Open.
In January, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy joined Woods as a Nike endorser after ending his five-year relationship with Titleist.
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