Golf great Tiger Woods has ended his more than two-decade partnership with Nike. The legend first went into partnership with Nike in 1996 and renewed it repeatedly in one of the most lucrative endorsement deals in sports history, according to CBS News. The platform also reported that his last deal was a 10-year pact in 2013 worth a reported $200 million.
“Over 27 years ago, I was fortunate to start a partnership with one of the most iconic brands in the world. The days have since been filled with so many amazing moments and memories, if I started naming them, I could go on forever,” the 15-times major champion said.
In response, Nike showed a picture of Woods flashing his trademark fist pump and final-round red top, with the caption: “It was a hell of a round, Tiger.”
“Throughout the course of our partnership, we have witnessed along with the rest of the world, how Tiger not only redefined the sport of golf, but broke barriers for all of sport,” Nike said in a statement.
“We watched him set records, challenge conventional thinking and inspire generations of people around the globe. We are grateful to have been a part of it. We wish him the best in the future.”
Forbes said Woods’ partnership with Nike helped him become a billionaire as he netted $500 million through his deal with the sportswear giant.
In June last year, Woods was certified as a billionaire with an estimated net worth of at least $1 billion. Forbes reported that Woods has made over $1.7 billion in salary, endorsements, and other forms of income throughout his career.
A chunk of the money comes from endorsement deals with brands including Gatorade, Monster Energy, TaylorMade, Rolex, and Nike while less than 10 percent of his earnings are from golf winnings.
According to Forbes, Woods has used his status and earnings to venture into multiple businesses, including a golf design business (TGR Design), a live events production company (TGR Live), and a restaurant (The Woods).
At the peak of his career, Woods earned some $100 million per year off the course. He also held the number 1 spot in Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list for ten consecutive years, ending in 2012.
Woods saw his career take a hit following a publicized divorce due to infidelity, losing multiple endorsement deals as a result, having a few run-ins with the law, and enduring a string of injuries.
Woods, has, however, managed to put his past behind him and proved his doubters wrong.