US golf legend Tiger Woods has confirmed the end of his 27-year commercial partnership with sportswear giant NIKE.

Woods announced the news in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) saying: “Over 27 years ago, I was fortunate enough to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world.

“The days since have been filled with so many amazing moments and memories. Phil Knight’s passion and vision brought this Nike and Nike Golf partnership together and I personally want to thank him, along with the other Nike employees and incredible athletes I have had the pleasure of working with along the way.

“People will ask if there is another chapter. Yes, there will certainly be another chapter.”

Woods’ longtime agent Mark Steinberg later told US news outlet CNBC the golfer decided not to renew his contract with Nike.

Responding to the post, Nike confirmed the exit on its social media page, adding: “It was a hell of a round, Tiger.”

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By GlobalData

Woods first signed a $40 million, five-year contract with Nike when he turned professional in 1996 at 20 years old. At the time, it was hailed as one of the most lucrative partnerships in sports history.

Since then, Wood signed multiple renewals of the deal over his career, including a 10-year contract worth around $200 million. Overall, he has made a reported $500 million through the partnership, while Nike gained significant exposure during the relationship.

During that time, Woods created his own clothing line, which featured the Nike logo alongside his own TW branding. Several PGA Tour professionals also wear Woods’ signature shoe, and he had a line of Nike golf clubs.

However, since then, Nike has reduced its investment in the sport, having stopped making golf equipment, including clubs, bags, and balls in 2016. Woods then started using golf clubs by TaylorMade and Bridgestone golf balls as a replacement.

The move comes as the sportswear giant said it is looking to cut $2 billion in costs in the coming years, while Woods’ career is also coming to an end after years of injury stemming from a serious car crash in 2021, which has limited how much he plays.

In December, Woods announced he would only play one event per month in 2024 after undergoing ankle surgery.

Outside of playing, Woods has partnered with fellow golf star Rory McIlroy and sports industry executive Mike McCarley to launch TMRW Sports, a new company aimed at “harnessing technology and building progressive approaches to sports, media, and entertainment.”

It has led to the launch of TGL, a new “tech-infused” stadium-based golf league created in partnership with the PGA Tour that was due to start today (January 9, 2024) but was postponed until 2025 after its venue in Florida was damaged.

At the time, TGL stated that the decision was taken following discussions with key partners, including players, the six-team ownership groups, PGA Tour leadership and commercial partners, SoFi, ESPN, and Palm Beach State College.