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Woods Endorses Japanese Heat Rub, First Deal Since Scandal

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Tiger Woods signed an endorsement agreement to promote a muscle-relief heat rub made by Japan-based Kowa Co., the golfer’s first new deal since a sex scandal that started almost two years ago.

Woods will be an “image character” for the company’s Antiphlogistic Analgetic Vantelin Kowa series of products, the Nagoya-based company said in a press release. A television commercial with Woods will debut in Japan in mid-July, the company said.

Closely held Kowa didn’t disclose terms of the agreement in its release. Mark Steinberg, Woods’s agent, declined to provide terms in an e-mail.

Golf’s former No. 1-ranked player was injured in a one-car accident in November 2009 that led to his admission of marital infidelity and the downfall of his personal and professional career. He also hasn’t won a tournament since just before the crash.

Over the past 18 months, Woods, 35, has lost endorsement agreements with companies including AT&T Inc., Accenture Plc and PepsiCo Inc.’s Gatorade brand. The 14-time major champion has maintained commercial contracts with Electronic Arts Inc., Nike Inc., Upper Deck, Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets Inc., and TLC Vision Corp.

Woods hasn’t played in a tournament since May 12, when he aggravated knee and ankle injuries sustained during the Masters Tournament in April.

Woods said in a news conference yesterday that he won’t return to action until he feels 100 percent healthy, putting his participation in next month’s British Open in question. Woods is hosting this week’s AT&T National tournament, a U.S. PGA Tour event which benefits his charitable foundation, at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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