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Tiger Woods' partnership with Nike is over. Here are 5 iconic ads we'll never forget

Tiger Woods celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia.
Andrew Redington
/
Getty Images
Tiger Woods celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia.

After nearly three decades, Tiger Woods' memorable run with Nike Golf has ended. The two sides announced the end of their partnership on Monday, bringing to a close one of the most memorable advertising tandems in the history of sports.

"Over 27 years ago, I was fortunate to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world," Woods said in a statement. "The days since have been filled with so many amazing moments and memories."

The most recent 10-year agreement between Woods and Nike was reportedly worth about $200 million, but perhaps the most enduring legacy of the partnership was the advertisements.

"It was a very unique partnership," said Eric Smallwood, president of Apex Marketing Group, an analytics firm specializing in sports and entertainment. "They created this exclusivity with their golfers to be an exclusive sponsor on their apparel."

We look back at some of the best ads to commemorate the 15-time major championship-winner's mark on sports history, and one of the most famous brand relationships of all time.

Never

In this iconic commercial, Woods' father, Earl Woods, voices over a montage of his son on the golf course.

"You don't really instill anything into a child. You encourage the development of it," he said. "But I would do all kinds of things to mess him up." He talks about the special tactics he'd use to challenge his son's mental toughness on the playing field, such as dropping a bag of clubs right as Tiger is about to swing.

The Masters

This was aired after Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters Tournament.

"It's crazy to think a 43-year-old who has experienced very high and every low, and has just won his 15th major, is chasing the same dream as a 3-year-old," the ad states. It ends on a video of Woods as a prodigious kid talking about wanting to beat pro golfer Jack Nicklaus when he grows older — which he famously did when he surpassed him in PGA Tour wins, years later.

Juggle

This 30-second spot features Tiger skillfully juggling a golf ball with his club, then finally hitting the ball into the distance. It wasn't the commercial the marketing team had planned that day, and they stumbled on it by accident as Woods was playing around during lunch break — just another day of being Tiger Woods.

The Perfect Swing

In one of the more dramatic advertisements from his partnership with Nike, Woods — wearing all black — swings his club in slow motion, ambient music building as he shows off his range of motion. Golf imitates art.

I Am Tiger Woods

One of the first Nike campaigns after Woods turned pro, released in 1997, features a montage of young, aspiring athletes repeating "I am Tiger Woods." It's a testament to his influence, as perhaps for the first time ever, kids were idolizing golfers as celebrity.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Diba Mohtasham