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Nordstrom agree Tiger Woods clothing deal

Nike's Tiger Woods line of golf apparel will be sold at Nordstrom stores under an exclusive deal announced by the two companies today.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

The first items from the spring collection bearing Woods's name are expected to be delivered in April to the 120 Nordstrom stores in 24 states.

The Tiger Woods line -- consisting of polo shirts, knit shirts, vests and pleated pants -- had previously been available only at pro shops and resorts. Those outlets will continue to carry the line, but Nordstrom will be the exclusive retailer among department stores.

"When they approached us with the possibility of offering the line in our stores, we were thrilled,'' said Amy Jones, spokeswoman for the Seattle-based retailer. "Tiger Woods and Nike are two of the most recognized names in golf.''

Tiger Woods in action at the NEC Invitational last year. Allsport.

David Hagler, director of apparel for Nike Golf, said the company decided to go with just one retailer because other chains tend to be fickle about carrying golf-related clothing.

"The department stores seem to be in golf a couple years and then out of it when golf goes out of fashion,'' he said. "We thought, let's just team up with who we feel is the premier retailer in the country.''

Nike's first line of Woods clothing -- released in 1997, the spring after the golfer turned pro -- was a disappointment. Hagler said distributing the items at sporting goods stores and malls, the usual sales points for Nike goods, missed the golfing enthusiasts and more affluent customers the company was targeting.

"By nature of the line, it's a little higher priced,'' Hagler said. "A lot of golf accounts bought into the first Tiger line, and we had some initial success, but we had a reality check."

Nike launched a new clothing collection in 1997, and sales have tripled over the first release, Hagler said.

Woods, 25, signed a lucrative new endorsement deal with Nike last year, reportedly worth about $100 million over five years, believed to be the richest in sports. He also gave the brand name a big lift when he switched to the Nike Tour Accuracy ball, using it to win the U.S. Open.

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