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Tiger x Nike: A Partnership That Has Stood The Test Of Time

April 25, 2019 Sarah Cavill

tiger woods instagram

Moments after Tiger Woods won the Masters, his first major tournament win in 11 years, Nike released, “Same Dream.” The commercial, which aired on Nike’s social channels, featured Woods throughout his career and celebrated his latest victory. A victory that was both unlikely, given Woods’ personal and physical issues since 2009, and the most natural and predestined win imaginable, given that he’s among the greatest golfers of all time.

The Nike spot concludes with a cheeky four-year old Woods saying he’s going to beat Jack Nicklaus. With Woods’ recent Masters win, he is now four majors away from passing Nicklaus’ benchmark record of 18 major championships. Woods had proven his talent long before his fall from the rankings, but few believed he would come back in a meaningful way given everything he’s been through. Nike never wavered.

Tiger Woods’ Nike Deal, Early Endorsements And Popularity Brought Golf Into A New Era

Tiger Woods’ Nike Deal

Woods first signed with Nike in 1996. In true Nike form, they pounced on an up-and-coming athlete with a lucrative deal generating loyalty early on. Woods’ first contract for $40 million over five years, was followed in 2001 by a $100 million agreement and three more renewals with Nike since then. Woods joined the tour in 1996 with $67 million in various endorsements, immediately alerting golfers and fans that he was one to watch. Woods’ remarkable talent and massive television draw allowed the PGA commissioner to demand a new contract with the television networks and ultimately increase PGA winnings six-fold during the Tiger Woods era.

Woods still garners huge television ratings, and by sticking with the golf star through thick and thin, Nike remains the beneficiary of Woods’ popularity. The final round of Woods’ latest Masters victory generated an estimated $22,540,000 in value for Nike.

Nike Embraces Iconic Athletes Who Have Persevered And Broken Barriers

Nike’s brand, from “Just Do It” to their latest “Dream Crazy” campaign, is about “leveraging sport to move the world forward.” Tiger Woods was the first person of black or Asian heritage, and the youngest, to become a Masters champion. He was also the youngest player to win all four major golf titles. Woods broke countless barriers for black and Asian golfers and dealt publicly with personal and professional setbacks.

In 2009, when many of Woods’ problems began, he lost most of his endorsement deals and the trust of many fans. Nike’s decision to stand by him through subsequent ups and downs has been lucrative for the brand and allowed them to capitalize on Woods’ grit in that way only Nike can. In 2018, Nike released “Welcome Back,” a commercial warmly announcing Woods’ return to the Masters. The commercial, using prior Nike spots, reminded fans who hadn’t seen the iconic athlete at the Masters in three years, of his prodigious and exceptional gifts.

Inspirational Athletes Are At The Heart Of Nike’s Hefty Marketing Budget

In 2016, Nike spent more than $3 billion on marketing, curating their message as a top-tier fashion and athletic wear company that inspires athletes and non-athletes. Nike’s inspirational narrative has driven the brand since Michael Jordan encouraged young athletes to “Be Like Mike.” With the “Same Dream” commercial celebrating Tiger Woods and their unwavering partnership, Nike evokes a universal feeling of awe, excitement and belief.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

Sarah Cavill is a Marketing Communications Writer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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