What's next for Tiger Woods after his split with Nike? Will the 15-time Major winner join son Charlie and boyfriend Justin Thomas at Greyson, make a full switch to TaylorMade or launch his own line and lure Rory McIlroy and co. away from the swoosh?
Tiger Woods promised fans would see a lot more of him this year, but following his split from Nike on Monday, the icon's appearance is about to become very different.
The 48-year-old and Nike have become synonymous since the brand first signed Woods to a five-year deal worth $40 million in 1996, the year he turned pro at age 20.
But the most iconic partnership in modern golf came to an end on Monday, when the 15-time major winner announced that the 27-year deal 'filled with so many great moments and memories' was over.
But while fans won't see Woods in the iconic Swoosh, they will certainly continue to witness his greatness on the fairways as he insisted in his statement that there will “certainly be a new chapter.”
But as he prepares to play the most golf since his 2021 car accident this year, where Woods' “next chapter” lies remains a mystery.
Tiger Woods announced his retirement from Nike on Monday after a 27-year partnership
The 15-time Major winner is now thinking about the future of his approach to the fairways
As one of the best players to ever play the game, it's not hard to imagine that Woods will already have several offers on the table at the end of the day.
Woods would also not be the first athlete to exchange Nike for another sportswear brand. Football star Lionel Messi left Nike for Adidas in 2005, and Simone Biles left the sportswear giant for Athleta.
The first and most obvious option would be a new shoe deal, swapping the Nike Air Zoom Tiger Woods for FootJoys – something he has already done himself.
Woods raised eyebrows when he showed up at Augusta National in April 2022 wearing a pair of FootJoy golf shoes, instead of his usual Nike.
Woods, who made his miraculous comeback after his horror car crash in 2021 at that year's Masters, explained his choice of shoes, saying: 'I have very limited mobility now. Just with the rods, plates and screws in my leg, I needed something different, something that could help me be more stable. That's where I went.'
Nike supported Woods' decision at the time, and the 82-time PGA Tour winner has been wearing FootJoys ever since. Now he could strengthen that partnership with a shoe deal with the golf shoe brand.
As for the clothes on his back, after Nike stopped making golf equipment in 2016, Woods turned to TaylorMade.
Woods' first contract with Nike, in 1996, was reportedly worth $40 million over five years
Although TaylorMade has a clothing range, this is currently somewhat limited with only 33 items currently listed on the website, the majority of which are obviously casual wear.
The range is not extensive enough to dress players on tour and the pros who are at TaylorMade for equipment purposes have worn Nike or Adidas in recent years.
However, the company could be preparing to expand its clothing range after advertising vacancies for its 'new clothing division' last month.
With a revamped clothing line at its disposal, TaylorMade could make a move to poach the stars of Nike's seemingly destructive golf division, including Woods.
TaylorMade also has equipment deals with several other Nike golfers, such as Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Scottie Scheffler.
Woods wasn't the first to part ways with Nike in the new year, as former ambassador Jason Day also parted ways with the brand last week.
Day played his first event in non-Nike gear last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, donning his new apparel sponsor Malbon and claiming he was tired of being dressed nearly identically to his fellow Nike pros.
TaylorMade also has equipment agreements with several other Nike golfers, such as Rory McIlroy (R)
Former ambassador Jason Day also left Nike last week and wore Malbon in Maui
Meanwhile, Woods' 14-year-old son reportedly signed his first brand deal with Greyson after the company welcomed the youngster in a now-deleted Instagram post.
Greyson also gave Woods' longtime friend Justin Thomas stock in the company after he was fired from Ralph Lauren in 2021.
The brand has subsequently signed a number of athletes, including 2022 US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, victorious European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, NHL star Dylan Larkin and the LPGA's Alison Lee.
Woods could choose to follow in the footsteps of his friend Thomas and Rodger Federer by receiving equality for promotion.
The tennis legend left Nike for a three percent equity stake in On Running, making $300 million when the brand went public in 2021, according to Joe Pompliano.
Woods' deal with Nike was reportedly worth $500 million over the course of their 27-year partnership.
Woods' first contract with Nike in 1996 was reportedly worth $40 million over five years, followed by an estimated $100 million contract signed in 2001 over another five years, according to ESPN.
He signed another eight-year contract in 2006 for an estimated $20-40 million per year, which was extended in 2013 for an undisclosed amount, according to Forbes. His current deal is believed to be worth $200 million.
Woods could choose to follow son Charlie (pictured) and boyfriend Justin Thomas to Greyson
An Instagram story from retired NFL WR Larry Fitzgerald suggests Charlie has signed with Greyson
Still, a more viable option might be for Woods to branch out and create his own line.
He still retains the trademark of his “TW” logo, which has been embossed on his Nike hats in recent years and has become as synonymous with the PGA Tour star as the Swoosh.
Ownership of the logo would allow Woods to take his established brand anywhere, including his own clothing company.
Meanwhile, there are more questions about the future of Nike's presence in the golf world.
According to a report from No Laying Up last month, Nike is considering closing its golf division. Nike stopped making golf equipment in 2016 and has only sold clothing since then.
If Nike were to move to close its golf division and end its four-decade run of making apparel and equipment for the sport, it would leave its other stars behind.
He still owns the trademark of his 'TW' logo, which is embossed on his Nike apparel
McIlroy, Fleetwood, Scheffler and Brooks Koepka are said to be without apparel deals, while Nelly Korda, the LPGA's biggest star, only signed a deal with Nike in January 2023.
While those stars could follow Day's lead and join established brands, they could also stick with Woods as he launches his own line.
McIlroy and Woods previously teamed up to set up the TGL, which is set to launch next year after being postponed, and it wouldn't be too far-fetched to see the close friends jumping into another business venture together as well.
Woods closed his statement Monday with “See you in LA,” hinting that he'll do it at Rivera Country Club in February for the Genesis Invitational, suggesting that whatever the icon's next chapter will entail, he's ready could be to turn the page as quickly as possible. like next month.