Woods Close To New Nike Deal; Agent Claims It Will Keep Him As Golf's Top-Paid Endorser
Excel Sports Management agent Mark Steinberg said that his client Tiger Woods is "close to signing a new deal with his longtime equipment and apparel sponsor Nike that will 'emphatically' keep him as golf's top-paid endorser," according to Bob Harig of ESPN.com. His current seven-year contract is "set to expire sometime before the end of the year." But Steinberg said, "We're down to the very, very short strokes right now ... I would expect we would come out with some sort of joint announcement when we get the paperwork signed." Woods "expects to sign the new deal perhaps as soon as the U.S. Open is complete" on June 16. With Woods a "potential free agent in the equipment market, there existed the possibility that after 17 years he could move on to another company and forego the Swoosh." But Steinberg said that option "never became a serious possibility." Steinberg "would not discuss financial terms or length." But he said it is a "multi-year deal." Steinberg "would not discuss whether Woods took a pay cut from Nike." Woods said, "We're very happy. This starts from the top down, from the years with signing with (Nike founder) Phil (Knight). And building that relationship. Obviously Nike Golf has grown over the years. It's been fun being part of that and we get to continue that for X-number of years now." Woods also has "endorsement deals with Rolex, Fuse, NetJets, EA Sports and Kowa, a Japanese company" (ESPN.com, 6/3).