Tiger Woods: holds golf fashion future in fingertips after split with Nike Golf

The impact of Tiger Woods and the era with Nike Golf goes deep. What brand will he wear since that swoosh will no longer don his clothes?

It’s the end of an era for the 82-time PGA Tour winner and the iconic brand. It’s been a week since he announced their split, but it’s still hard to imagine Woods wearing anything else.

The only time we’ve seen him since he made it official was for an appearance on the Fore Play Pod, and Woods still wore Nike. Of course, that was likely filmed before the news dropped. Nevertheless, it made it harder to visualize his ‘TW’ logo on anything else.

But it will be. What brand Woods will choose has yet to be determined or announced.

Rumors have surfaced that it’s Grayson Clothier or that TaylorMade is adding a clothing sector to their growing brand. Some have even suggested that he could launch his own stuff.

However, there are some things to consider with this decision of his. Woods won’t just go with any clothing company; he simply can’t.

To help understand this whole situation better, I spoke with Joshua Butler, a golf brand and gear expert. He founded J. Butler Golf, a new luxury yet affordable apparel line created to change the cost narrative of playing golf.

“The money that it takes to manage such a relationship like a Tiger Woods — smaller companies really can’t compete from a marketing standpoint,” Butler said in an exclusive interview with Playing Through.

For a company to take him on, it will cost them millions of dollars. Butler knows it could be detrimental if a brand isn’t ready for someone like Woods and his magnitude.

“Most of the time in this era, we can’t afford the big athletes,” he said. “The sponsorship requirements and the dollars that come with that could bankrupt a company.”

Would it be fantastic to see Woods invest in a smaller company? Yes, because he is one of the most recognizable faces in golf. He is why so many people of color have picked up golf clubs.

There are brands he could work with, like Blackballed Golf, J. Butler Golf, Trap Golf, Golfer Bro and Eastside Golf in Atlanta, that he could work with.

“You have these really great up-and-coming brands owned by non-Caucasian individuals,” Butler said. “He could start his own and orient it towards helping disadvantaged communities and under-resourced individuals. Somebody at Tiger’s level in his stature could do an amazing job if that’s where he chose to orient his next partnership towards helping.”

Unfortunately, unless he is ready to forget about making money off the clothes he wears for a while, a smaller minority-owned brand is out of the question.

It would be an excellent way for him to grow the game away from the course, but right now, in his career, it doesn’t seem like that will be the move he makes.

Butler thinks that Woods could join Footjoy since they already supply his shoes. Grayson Clothier is another option that Butler believed could pull Woods because of their relationship with his good friend Justin Thomas. The brand also sponsors his son, Charlie.

Tiger knows his stature and what his name does for golf. He is the needle mover despite not playing as much. It doesn’t matter; people fell in love with the game because of him, and as long as he is involved in a way, they will continue to do so.

Wherever he goes next for his clothing needs, they’ll be getting the golden goose egg prize. This year has already shown so many changes in golf fashion. We’ve already seen Jason Day leave Nike for Malbon Golf. For Woods to be part of that shows the landscape is moving towards something else.

Where Woods goes next will structure how many see what is cool to wear on the golf course. There could be a golf fashion movement coming to the sport in 2024.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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