By Barry Janoff
October 17, 2016: Tiger Woods has been in the news a lot lately for things he has not done.
Now, he is seeking to make news for something he is doing.
Woods, who has not competed in a golf tournament since August 2015 and this month withdrew from the Safeway Open and Turkish Airlines Open after committing to both as his return to the course, has unveiled TGR Ventures.
"Today marks an exciting moment for me. As I work toward returning to the sport I love, I'm also taking the next step in what I like to call Chapter 2: My evolution as a competitor off the course," Woods wrote on his official Web site.
TGR Ventures, complete with a new logo, will be the overarching umbrella for other Woods’ platforms, including Tiger Woods Foundation, TGR Live, TGR Design and The Woods; as well as upcoming projects.
Woods said he unveiled TGR Ventures to his entire staff at the TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, Calif., during a “town hall” meeting on Sept. 9.
"I’ve spent nearly two years developing TGR with my team. And this is what we are about: the pursuit of excellence beyond all limits," according to Woods on his Web site. "I approach everything I do with a mindset to be the absolute best."
Woods said the new logo had a multitude of meanings: "Three triangles signify our mindset, method and mastery." He also said it represents a "W," a tiger's paw and "even three trees because I've been known hit into them — my last name is Woods, after all."
According to Woods, "The method I follow to get there is inspired by precision, with the end goal of elevating standards and the status quo. And I'm always striving for the kind of mastery that naturally results from focus and a willingness to keep learning. My team and I have applied these principles — this mindset, method and mastery — to all that we've accomplished over the last 20 years.
"But I believe this is just the beginning," wrote Woods.
Woods, 40, is arguably regarded as the greatest golfer in the sport’s history. However, due to injuries, surgeries, rehab stints and challenges in his personal life, Woods' productivity on the golf course has fallen off dramatically over the past few years.
Since turing pro in 1996, Woods has won 14 Majors, but the most recent was the U.S. Open in 2008.
He has been named PGA Player of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year 11 times each, but only once each since 2009 when he had a comeback year in 2013.
At the height of his career, Woods earned excess of $110 million annual from endorsements.
He currently earns about $5 million in endorsements from deals that include Hero Motorcorp, Kowa and Rolex (not including firms in which he has an investment).
With TGR Ventures, according to Woods, "I see a brand identity and strategy for all of (my) ventures, including ones still to come."
TGR Ventures’ current divisions include The Tiger Woods Foundation, which has "reached millions of young people by delivering unique experiences and innovative educational opportunities for youth worldwide"; TGR Live, a non-profit company that supports the Tiger Woods Foundation's fundraising efforts; TGR Design golf course design firm; and The Woods, a flagship restaurant in Jupiter, Fla.
Woods has several iconic role models to emulate in the world of golf business, including Arnold Palmer, who passed away in September at the age of 87 but was expected to earn upward of $145 million this year from endorsements and investments; Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, both of whom, like Palmer, have extended their brand well beyond the golf course.
TGR Live currently operates three PGA Tour events: the Quicken Loans National, Washington, DC; the Genesis Open, Los Angeles; and the Hero World Challenge in Albany, Bahamas.
In addition, it oversees a series of signature events, including Tiger Jam in Las Vegas and the Tiger Woods Invitational in Monterey Peninsula.
TGR Live will also produce "An Evening of Unexpected Champions" in celebration of the Foundation’s 20th anniversary, scheduled for Oct. 20 in the New York Public Library.
Woods’ move comes as worldwide sponsorship spend on golf is expected to top a record $1.82 billion this year, up 5.1% from the $1.72 billion spent in 2015, according to research firm IEG, Chicago.
It also comes at a time when major sports companies are re-assessing their respective roles in the sport.
Over the past few months, No. 1 golf retailer Golfsmith filed for Chapter 11 in an effort to streamline its operation. Nike Golf is in the process of transitioning out of equipment — including clubs, balls and bags — though it said it would "accelerate innovation in its golf footwear and apparel business (and) partner with more of the world’s best golfers." And adidas put a major chunk of its golf division up for sale, which includes TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth.
Woods sees the future of golf, and his role in it, as "building a legacy that goes beyond just me. Because true excellence — TGR's kind of excellence — knows no limits."
As he told members of his staff in September during their town hall meeting, "TGR is bigger than my name, yet is still connected to each of us. What you see here is more than just a logo; it's the symbol of our future: a mark that proudly shows our mission and beautifully tells our story to the world."
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