Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods will no longer be a Nike athlete as his 27-year-stay with the brand has ended. Brian Snyder/Reuters

Golfing legend Tiger Woods will no longer be sponsored by American apparel brand, Nike, as the two have ended their partnership after 27 years together.

This brings down the curtain on one of the most lucrative and iconic collaborations in sports, which began way back in 1996 when Woods started his professional golfing career at just 20 years of age. The first contract Woods signed with Nike was worth £31.5 million and ran for five years.

Over the course of the 27-year partnership, Woods is believed to have made approximately £395 million from his time with Nike, with his last deal with the brand believed to be worth more than £150 million. That contract expired at the end of 2023 and ultimately signalled the end of the decades-long collaboration.

Woods' iconic career has seen him win 82 titles on the PGA Tour, including 15 major championships. Five of those major victories have come at the highly coveted Masters Tournament in Augusta.

The Nike attire which Woods wore during his career became synonymous with the success he had, in particular the famous red t-shirt he would wear when playing the final round on the Sunday session of the Master's Tournament.

Confirmation of the split between Woods and Nike broke on Monday, with the golf star delivering the news on social media. A statement was released by Woods, reading: "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."

Woods went on to thank Nike co-founder and former CEO, Phil Knight. He stated: "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."

The golfer then hinted towards the future and a potential new partnership, mentioning: "People will ask if there is another chapter. Yes, there will certainly be another chapter."

Nike paid tribute to Woods through a post on the brand's official Instagram page, saying: "Tiger, you challenged your competition, stereotypes, conventions, the old school way of thinking. You challenged the entire institution of golf. You challenged us. And most of all, yourself. And for that challenge we're grateful."

Woods has not been as active on the golf course in recent years as he was involved in a near-fatal car accident in 2021, which led to him sustaining multiple leg injuries and meant he had to undergo surgery on his lower right leg and ankle.

Dealing with numerous injury setbacks over recent years has caused Woods to manage his playing load and enter fewer events. The 48-year-old plans to play in only one tournament a month throughout 2024.

Next month's Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles is set to be the next time we see Woods in action on the PGA Tour.

Following the car accident, Woods has not been playing in Nike footwear when competing on the golf course, instead, he has opted to wear golf shoes from FootJoy to feel more comfortable. Nike understood Woods' decision and was fully supportive of his new footwear preference.

Woods has been seen with other brands previously as Nike chose to discontinue its own golf equipment range in 2016 and place its focus entirely on golf apparel. This led to Woods using golf clubs made by TaylorMade and golf balls manufactured by Bridgestone.

Woods' split from Nike is rumoured to be linked to a wider shake-up for the leading apparel company. Nike is reportedly looking to cut costs by nearly £2 billion in the next few years, with the brand's golfing department possibly being closed down altogether.

Amidst this possible shutdown, it is unclear what the future will hold for Nike's current roster of golf stars such as Rory Mcilroy, Brooks Koepka, Scott Scheffler and Tommy Fleetwood.