One of the few sponsors to stick with the scandal-tainted Tiger Woods, Nike Golf may now thumb its nose at the Gillettes, Gatorades, and Accentures of the world, which dumped the formerly toxic golfer after his serial philandering became public knowledge and tabloid fodder. While the Beaverton, Ore., sportswear company may not go that far, corporate executives certainly must expect to cash in on the resurgence of their most renowned pitchman and, indeed, have begun ramping up for what they and many golf watchers believe could be a huge 2012 season for the 14-time major champion.
“NIKE ATHLETE TIGER WOODS RE-TAKES THE STAGE WITH AN ELECTRIFYING WIN,” blared a Nike press release touting Woods’ “stunning dramatic ‘Tiger-like’” victory sunday at the Chevron World Challenge.
“Work. Work. Work. Work. Win,” read a Monday @nikegolf Twitter blast, complete with a photo of Woods in full roar after nailing his birdie putt on the 18th hole at Sherwood Country Club to defeat Zach Johnson by one stroke.
Nike and Electronics Arts stood by their man even after his Thanksgiving 2009 car crash, subsequent divorce, and 749-day winless drought. If Tiger — who bounced from 52nd-ranked to 21st in the world with his first triumph in more than two years at the unofficial, 18-player Chevron event — continues to play as he has of late and, even better, chalks up some Ws when they count, the suits in Oregon will surely be pleased they remained in Woods’ corner.
As for Woods’ newest sponsor, Fuse Science could not have picked a better time to debut its “Powered by Fuse” golf bag. Last week, Woods’ new caddie Joe LaCava shouldered the satchel, which sported only the names of Fuse and the Tiger Woods Foundation where “AT&T” was for so many years.
Woods’ Chevron achievement did not go unnoticed by at least one other Fuse spokesperson. “Congrats to fellow @FuseScience athlete @TigerWoods on his victory this weekend,” Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz tweeted on Monday.
Ortiz signed on with Fuse last month, about a week after Woods announced his endorsement partnership with the sports-nutrition firm.
In other sponsorships news, Chevron will no longer stage the event that has boasted its name for four years. Tourney director Greg McLaughlin believes another company will step in to lend its name to the competition, according to multiple reports. He also said that Sherwood CC had contracted to host the event through 2015.