Tiger Woods is a professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Formerly the World No. 1, he was the highest-paid athlete in the world according to Forbes for several years.
Tiger Woods has been called the world’s most marketable athlete. Shortly after his 21st birthday in 1996, he began signing endorsement deals with numerous companies, including General Motors, Titleist, General Mills, American Express, Accenture, and Nike, Inc. In 2000, he signed a 5-year, $105 million contract extension with Nike. It was the largest endorsing deal ever signed by an athlete at that time. Woods’ endorsement has been credited with playing a significant role in taking the Nike Golf brand from a “start-up” golf company earlier in the past decade, to becoming the leading golf apparel company in the world, and a major player in the equipment and golf ball market. Nike Golf is one of the fastest growing brands in the sport, with an estimated $600 million in sales. Woods has been described as the “ultimate endorser” for Nike Golf, frequently seen wearing Nike gear during tournaments, and even in advertisements for other products. Woods receives a percentage from the sales of Nike Golf apparel, footwear, golf equipment, golf balls, and has a building named after him at Nike’s headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon.
In 2002, Woods was involved in every aspect of the launch of Buick’s Rendezvous SUV. A company spokesman stated that Buick was happy with the value of Woods’ endorsement, pointing out that more than 130,000 Rendezvous vehicles were sold in 2002 and 2003. “That exceeded our forecasts,” he was quoted as saying, “It has to be in recognition of Tiger.” In February 2004, Buick renewed Woods’ endorsement contract for another five years, in a deal reportedly worth $40 million.
Woods collaborated closely with TAG Heuer to develop the world’s first professional golf watch, released in April 2005. The lightweight, titanium-construction watch, designed to be worn while playing the game, incorporates numerous innovative design features to accommodate golf play. It is capable of absorbing up to 5,000 Gs of shock, far in excess of the forces generated by a normal golf swing. In 2006, the TAG Heuer Professional Golf Watch won the prestigious iF product design award in the Leisure/Lifestyle category.
Woods also endorses the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of video games; he has done so since 1999. In 2006, he signed a six-year contract with Electronic Arts, the series’ publisher. In February 2007, along with Roger Federer and Thierry Henry, Woods became an ambassador for the “Gillette Champions” marketing campaign. Gillette did not disclose financial terms, though an expert estimated the deal could total between $10 million and $20 million. In October 2007, Gatorade announced that Woods would have his own brand of sports drink starting in March 2008. “Gatorade Tiger” was his first U.S. deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement. Although no figures were officially disclosed, Golfweek magazine reported that it was for five years and could pay him as much as $100 million. The company decided in early fall 2009 to discontinue the drink due to weak sales.
According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007, and the magazine predicted that by 2010, Woods would pass one billion dollars in earnings. In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world’s first athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career (before taxes), after accounting for the $10 million bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup title. The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him the second richest “African American” behind only Oprah Winfrey. In July 2011, Woods appeared on a 15-second Japanese television commercial, endorsing a heat back rub by Kowa Co., the Vantelin Kowa rub. Details of the deal, which was made in late 2010, were not disclosed. In October 2012, it was announced that Woods had signed an exclusive endorsement deal with Fuse Science, Inc, a sports nutrition firm.
How Tiger Woods Made His Money – Golf
Estimated Net Worth: $600 Million
Birthday: December 30, 1975