Tiger Woods at the practice range on April 5, 2022, before the start of the 2022 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
Brian Spurlock | Sportswire Icon | Getty Images
Tiger Woods and TaylorMade have made it official. The golfing great has agreed to create a new performance and lifestyle clothing and footwear brand with the Carlsbad, California-based company following his recent split with Nike.
The brand, Sunday Red Day, will first be available only online from May. “Life changes and it’s a big transition and I wanted to have a brand that I was proud of moving forward,” Tiger said.
Woods says the brand name “Sun Day Red” is a tribute to the fact that he always wears red on Sundays. The tiger logo is a tribute to the 15 majors he wore during his career.
TaylorMade and Woods announced the news Monday evening at a press event in Pacific Palisades, Calif., ahead of the PGA Tour's Genesis Invitational, an event he is hosting.
“It’s a good time,” Woods said, appearing in a cashmere sweater from the new brand.
Tiger Woods partners with TaylorMade to launch 'Sun Day Red' lifestyle and performance brand.
Ethan Gulley/Sun Day Red
Woods' relationship with TaylorMade dates back to 2017, when the two signed an equipment deal that allows him to play the brand's driver, fairway woods, irons and wedges.
Woods said he was being courted by other companies, but he trusted TaylorMade for its ability to “do it right.”
David Abeles, CEO of TaylorMade, said Woods had been an inspiration to his team, particularly through his discipline and meticulous approach to product design.
The new brand includes a completely new company with a separate headquarters and employees solely focused on its development, Abeles said.
“There is no influence from TaylorMade on this brand. Its brand is standalone and independent from TaylorMade,” Abeles said.
Last month, Woods announced his separation from his longtime apparel partner, Nike, after a 27-year absence. Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, told CNBC at the time that the golfer made a business decision not to renew his contract with Nike.
The 15-time major winner's brand exposure is less today than it once was at the peak of his career. Woods suffered a series of injuries following his 2021 car crash near Los Angeles, during which he suffered multiple leg injuries. Since then, the 48-year-old has made rare appearances in major golf tournaments and his game has been unstable.
Still, this deal still represents a major win for TaylorMade. Woods still has a lasting legacy, experts say, and continues to draw massive crowds as fans hope to catch a glimpse of one of the greatest golfers of all time.
“Michael Jordan is still Michael Jordan, and Air Jordans are still doing great,” said Eric Smallwood, president of Apex Marketing Group, bringing up the Basketball Hall of Fame for comparison.
Apex has followed Woods' brand exposure throughout his career. Smallwood said the golfer's deal with TaylorMade would be a “huge boost” for his brand.
Although Woods is less often seen on the golf course, he has become the owner of a new technology-driven indoor golf league with Rory McIlroy called TGL. It's set to debut next year and has a broadcast deal on ESPN, which could be a big boost for TaylorMade.
Speculation around a Woods-TaylorMade partnership has been swirling for months. TaylorMade created a new LLC called TaylorMade Lifestyle Ventures last March, according to Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney at Gerben Law. Then in June, the company began filing trademarks, including RED SUNDAYa logo for SUNDAY RED DAY, a tiger logo and one tiger logo with letters S, D, R.
Gerben told CNBC it was likely that TaylorMade filed for the LLC in order to provide Woods with equity in the new company.
“I thought it was an incredibly unique structure,” he said. “In a sponsorship deal with an athlete, you very rarely see a new entity created just to own them.”
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