TaylorMade announced today a multi-year contract has been reached with Tiger Woods. His connection with TaylorMade is not totally new. He used to play with TaylorMade metalwoods in the early 90s.
As part of the contract, Tiger Woods will play TaylorMade’s driver, fairway woods, irons ( ’16 M2 driver, ’17 M2 3-wood, and ’17 M1 5-wood), and wedges with specific product models to be determined at the conclusion of Tiger Woods’ and TaylorMade’s extensive testing process.
Tiger Woods will co-create with TaylorMade’s club engineers and have an integral role in the design and development of a new, personalized iron model that will make its debut in Tiger’s bag at a future date to be determined.
The only non-TaylorMade club that will remain in the bag is a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter.
Is it still worth to sponsor Tiger Woods?
This was the official part of the news. What is more interesting what are the motives and interests of the two sides. First, we have got Adidas who wants to sell parts of the company’s golf division (since May 2016). Second, Nike Golf announced to exit the hard goods business in August 2016.
And there is Tiger Woods – an idol for many golfers among them myself also – who has not won on the PGA Tour since 2013. Tiger Woods’ official world ranking in 2015 was 663rd.
What are the most likely scenarios behind this sponsorship contract?
- Tiger Woods is becoming the owner or part-owner of TaylorMade. So this is actually a transition period for them.
- TaylorMade could not find a proper buyer for the selected parts of its golf division. This is why he continues as business as usual. And yes, Tiger Woods, despite the injuries and the absence from the tournaments he is still able to generate sufficient attention.
- Adidas is reconsidering its sales plans. They might think with Tiger Woods in their portfolio they can demand much more from a future buyer.
- Tiger Woods is happy to find any new sponsors (e.g. Monster Energy, Bridgestone Golf).
I would bet on the 3rd scenario.