Tiger Woods’ longtime logo? Sounds like he’s over it

When Tiger Woods strolled on to the first tee at the Genesis Invitational Thursday morning, something was different — and we don’t mean his fused-ankle gait or the TaylorMade Qi10 3-wood he added to his bag this week.

 

No, the most obvious change was on the front and back of his egg shell-white sweater, on the heel of his shoes and on the billboard of his cap: the tiger-themed logo of Woods’ new apparel brand, Sun Day Red. If you’re attuned to golf-world happenings, you likely already had seen Woods’ new emblem, and you might even know its hidden meaning: the 15 stripes in the cat represent Woods’ 15 major wins. But if the first round at Riviera was your first peek, Woods’ new branding might have jarred you, like when you first saw another GOAT, Michael Jordan, in Wizards blue.

 

To recap, after Woods and Nike decided to part ways (we don’t know who broke up with whom, but the relationship officially ended at the end of 2023), Woods wasted little time doing his own thing. That strategizing resulted in Sun Day Red, an apparel line Woods launched earlier this week in partnership with TaylorMade, whose clubs Woods has been playing since 2016.

 

Endorsement deals come and go like the seasons, but the Woods-Nike split seemed to hit golf fans a little differently, because after two-plus decades together the endorser and endorsee had become synonymous. Nike first signed Woods in 1996, meaning Woods was Swooshed-up for all 15 of his major titles. By 2001, Nike also had given Woods his own logo: a “TW” that frequently adorned his cap and the back of his shirts, mocknecks and sweaters.  

 

On Wednesday at Riviera, SI golf reporter Bob Harig asked Woods about the TW logo and whether he’ll “ever get that back.”

 

“I don’t want it back, I’ve moved on,” Woods said. “This is a transition in my life. I’ve moved on to Sun Day Red, and we’re looking forward to building a brand that elicits excitement and is transformative.”

 

Woods’ remarks would seem to suggest that he doesn’t own the logo, but here’s where things get murky. According to documents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Woods’ licensing company, ETW Corp., owns the rights to the logo, or at least it did until recently. As of Thursday, a search for the TW logo in the trademark’s database turns up six results, all of which are now labeled as “dead” and “cancelled.”    

 

Meanwhile, Nike is continuing to sell TW-branded apparel on its website.

 

Tiger Woods’ manager, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately reply to an email requesting clarification about the logo’s owner. But perhaps it’s moot. Woods doesn’t seem particularly wistful about his old mark, and Nike’s TW inventory surely is dwindling.

 

It was a good run, but we’ve crossed the finish line.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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