By Barry Janoff
January 29, 2015: Although his roster of marketing partners and annual endorsement deals are not as formidable as they once were and he has been plagued by back issues that led to surgery, Tiger Woods has shown that he still can swing with some power when it comes to signing deals and attracting the attention of brands, fans and consumers.
Now playing in his first tournament of 2015, his first PGA Tour event since August and his first competitive event since the Hero World Challenge in early December, Woods has signed a multi-year deal with music lifestyle brand Sol Republic, whose products include wireless Tracks headphones and portable Punk speakers.
The Sol Republic deal comes a week after Woods signed a pact with sport and entertainment technology and training performance company Full Swing Golf and about a month after unveiling a multi-year deal with motorcycle-scooter manufacturer Hero MotorCorp.
Also this week, Nike Golf shared details of the TW '15 golf shoe (pictured below), which will be available next month.
Terms of the Sol Republic and Full Swing Golf alliances were not disclosed. The Hero MotorCorp. pact is a four-year deal put at $8 million a year by industry analysts.
"Music is a huge part of my life and my training; it inspires me to work harder, stay focused and get better every day," Woods said in sharing the deal from Arizona, where he is competing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Jan. 29-Feb. 1) at the TPC Scottsdale golf course, not far from the site of Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale. "It's exciting to find a brand that cares about music the way that I do, and I'm ready to work with Sol Republic on bringing that passion to life."
(Editor's Note: Woods failed to make the cut at the WM Phoenix Open, shooting a pro-career worst 82 on Friday following a 73 on Thursday.)
Woods, who at the height of his marketing powers in 2009 earned about $110 million, currently takes in about $60 million in annual endorsements, according to industry anlysts.
His marketing deals also include Kowa, MysclePharm, NetJets, Rolex and Upper Deck.
"Athletes of all levels use music as a motivator to get in their zone and achieve their best," said Kevin Lee, co-founder and CEO for Sol Republic at the media event sharing the alliance. "Tiger is a legendary athlete with a competitive drive that changed the sport of golf and truly shares our passion for music and its power to help propel people to reach their goals."
Sol Republic's roster of endorsers also include Michael Phelps, surfer Julian Wilson and renowned DJs Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki.
According to Ryan Dotters, CEO at Full Swing Golf, "We couldn't be more excited to work with such an icon of the sport, who is one of the most talked about athletes in all of sports. We're extremely proud to have guidance from one of the greatest athletes of all time on future product development and truly becoming the leader in sports technology."
"As for my 2015 golf season, I'm mostly excited about being healthy again," Woods wrote on his blog. "I've struggled for the past year-and-half with my back, and it showed in my results. Even though I won five times two years ago, it was hit or miss some weeks and got progressively worse. Now that it feels healthy, strong and stable, it's fun to be able to play with my kids again, to play soccer and run around with them, shoot hoops . . . things that I used to do and took for granted. For anybody who has ever had a bad back with nerve damage, it's downright debilitating. To not feel that is finally just incredible relief."
“I believe Tiger becoming Hero's global public partner, he is going to add a huge amount of value to the brand Hero, which clearly is going global in its intent and with its product and the brand,” Hero CEO Pawan Munjal said during the media conference in Deember unveiling the alliance with Woods.
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