Nike stays, but Tiger may lose Rs 115 cr deals



Nike will continue its endorsement deal with Tiger Woods despite the legendary golfer’s DUI (driving under influence) arrest Monday. However, if the other brands decide otherwise following the Monday night incident, Woods may lose up to Rs 115 crore from his endorsement revenues.

Nike was one of the original sponsors who signed Woods in 1996, and it stood by him during low points in his personal life when other sponsors dropped him.

Woods was found by Florida Police early Monday asleep in his car. The police report on the incident noted that Woods seemed dazed, with slurred speech, and did not seem to comprehend what was going on around him. However, the police also noted a breathalyzer test showed Woods had a blood alcohol level of 0.00.

Tiger Woods was arrested in South Florida over the holiday weekend on DUI charges. The golf star said in a statement that his condition was the result of a bad reaction to medication, not alcohol, but the incident could have serious repercussions for Woods—and his earning power, says a report by Rob Wile.

Woods has not won a major golf championship since 2008 — the year before the world learned he had been cheating on his wife — and has not had a tour win since 2013. As a result, his annual earnings have suffered. Woods once had an estimated net worth of over $1 billion (Rs 5,600 crore) and earned more than $100 million (Rs 560-600 crore)annually according to Forbes. He is now making less than half that per year.

Still, Forbes ranked Woods the 12th-highest paid athlete of 2016. He earned more than $45 million (Rs 300 crore) based on endorsement deals alone last year. That includes the $20 million (Rs 13 crore) he would have earned based on the estimated $100 million (Rs 65 crore) deal he signed with Nike in 2013. Woods also has sponsorship agreements with Rolex, TaylorMade clubs, and Upper Deck sports cards, among others. Today he has an overall estimated net worth of $740 million (Rs 4,800 crore) according to Forbes.

The DUI charge represents the first time Woods has ever been arrested. Nike stuck by Woods despite his infidelities, even as his sponsorship deals with brands like Gillette, AT&T, and Gatorade evaporated. But at least one outlet says that it probably would be wise for Nike to drop its star golfing client in light of Woods’ DUI arrest.

Even so, Woods’ continued appearances on the list of the world’s highest-paid individuals have probably never been more in danger. He is scheduled for an arraignment hearing on July 5.

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