Tiger 'near new' Nike deal

2013-06-04 07:45
Tiger Woods (AFP)

Dublin - World number one Tiger Woods is close to signing a new endorsement deal with Nike that would keep him as golf's highest-paid pitchman, Woods agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN.

In a report Monday on the sports-network's website, Steinberg said that the current Nike-Woods deal signed in 2006 is set to expire before the end of 2013.

"We're down to the very, very short strokes right now," Steinberg said. "I would expect we would come out with some sort of joint announcement when we get the paperwork signed. I hope this is viewed as a pretty bold statement."

Woods said Sunday after sharing 65th at the Memorial that he knows every detail of the negotiations and expects to sign the new contract perhaps as soon as the completion of the US Open, which runs June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club.

It was not so very long ago that sponsors fled from Woods in the wake of his admission of a sex scandal in which he cheated on then-wife Elin Nordegren with multiple mistresses, apologizing in a televised 2010 statement.

Endorsement deals with Gillette, Accenture, AT and T and Gatorade ended in the wake of the scandal and Woods' marriage ended in 2010.

He has not won a major title since the scandal but has a new girlfriend, US ski star and reigning Olympic women's downhill champion Lindsey Vonn.

Throughout the scandal, Nike stuck by Woods as the sports clothing and equipment maker has since he turned professional.

"Tiger started his professional career with Nike in 1996," Steinberg said. "He has a long way to go in his career, but I feel with the type of deal we've constructed I feel confident that he will be with Nike for his entire career."

Steinberg did not reveal contract terms except to say it was a multi-year deal and did not say if Woods took a pay cut on his current Nike deal as a result of the sex scandal.

Sports Illustrated reported Woods makes about $40 million a year, which would include his prize money and current Nike deal as well as endorsement contracts with Rolex, Fuse, EA Sports, NetJets and Japan's Kowa.

Woods, 37, went more than two years without a PGA victory in the wake of the scandal but has won seven times in the past 15 months, giving him 78 career PGA titles -- four shy of matching the all-time record held by Sam Snead.

But since he won the 2008 US Open, Woods has been stuck on 14 major titles, four shy of matching the record held by Jack Nicklaus.

Steinberg told ESPN that Woods never took a serious look at a deal with a Nike rival.

"This process went as such where I never had to get out in the market to test the waters in a formal way," Steinberg said.

Read more on:    nike  |  tiger woods  |  golf

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