Fresh off his record-breaking summer of golf, Tiger Woods is on
the verge of signing a $100 million endorsement contract with Nike
believed to be the richest in sports, The Associated Press has
Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG, declined to discuss specifics
of the deal today, only to say it was an "outstanding
"We are within days of a signature,'' he said.
"It compensates Tiger not just for what he's done with Nike,
but what he has done for golf and sports.''
Woods's previous contract with Nike was said to be $40 million
over five years. He was used heavily in their advertisements and
established his own line of clothing and shoes.
A source close to the negotiations, speaking on condition of
anonymity, described it as the "largest contract in sports
marketing history,'' worth about $100 million over five years.
"There are so many different revenue streams,'' the source
said. "It's impossible to calculate what the end result will be.''
Nike Golf president Bob Wood described the contract as "pretty
''It's not often you get a chance to work with somebody who's
the best in the world at what they do,'' he said. "Working with
and being associated with Tiger Woods has created an incredible
amount of positive energy about Nike Golf and Nike.''
While Wood also declined to discuss contract details, he did say
the amount was partly tied to sales.
Woods has represented Nike since turning professional in 1996.
In just four years, he has won all four major championships,
becoming, at 24, the youngest player to do so. He set the scoring
record in each of them, and he has attracted a record number of TV
viewers just about every week.
With three still to play this season, his nine victories this
year are the most in one PGA Tour season since 1950, and he is on
pace to shattered the all-time season scoring average of 68.33 set by Byron
Nelson in 1945.
In June, he gave Nike a huge lift when he switched to the Nike
Tour Accuracy ball. He went on to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15 strokes, the largest winning margin in the 140-year history
of major championship golf.
Woods also became the first player to finish a U.S. Open in
double digits below par, a 12-under 272. A month later, he won the
Open at St. Andrews with a 19-under 269 -- the 19-under being another major championship record.
Last month, he became the first player in the stroke-play era of
the PGA Championship to win back-to-back titles, outlasting Bob May in a three-hole playoff.
The Nike Golf president said its market share for balls has
increased from about 1 percent in April to nearly 4 percent.
The switch to the Nike ball did not have a major impact on
contract negotiations, Wood said. Nike also is considering a move
toward golf clubs.
"If Nike Golf comes out with equipment, we definitely will be
looking at one person,'' he said.
Woods devotes a substantial amount of time to Nike, and the
Beaverton, Ore., company has used him effectively in their TV ads.
Perhaps the most famous was not even planned. During a break
from a commercial of Woods hitting balls with dozens of hackers on
a range, he began bouncing a ball on his wedge -- behind his back,
between his legs -- before whacking it in midair.
Such images, along with the spectacular shots he produces just
about every week, has enabled Woods to transcend his sport like few
others. His father, Earl Woods, said last week that Woods would do
more for Nike than Michael Jordan ever did.
Woods, could be sports first billion dollar man.Allsport
"He represents Nike Corp., the whole brand name,'' the father
said. "That will increase more and more as he gets a little
Wood, the Nike Golf president, said that was "definitely
"His professional longevity is greater than Michael's,'' Wood
said. "Basketball players have a 15-year career if they're
fortunate. Tiger has 24 more majors to play, just in the time
period he is under contract with us. He has 104 majors left until
he gets to the Senior Tour.''
Earlier this year, Woods signed an endorsement deal with Buick
worth $30 million over five years and carries its logo on his bag.
In all, Woods has endorsement contracts with 11 companies.
Earl Woods told Golfweek in February that his son's net
worth had reached more than $150 million. After his U.S. Open victory in June, several financial analysts said Woods could become
sports' first $1 billion man.
"He's 24. That's the key to this,'' Steinberg said. "He's limitless. He's a transcendent athlete, finally being recognized as the greatest athlete on the planet.''