Mon, Feb 12, 2024 9:47 PM
By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods and Sunday red is no longer just a shirt. It’s a brand.
Woods is starting a new year with a new look, announcing Monday evening an extended partnership with TaylorMade Golf to launch a lifestyle brand that will be called Sun Day Red.
The change followed Woods and Nike ending a 27-year relationship, which dated to when Woods turned pro in August 1996 with his “Hello, World” campaign.
Nike ended its equipment business (golf clubs and golf balls) in 2016. Woods previously had a deal with TaylorMade for clubs and with Bridgestone for the golf ball. Now he’s all in with TaylorMade on an apparel and footwear line.
“It's the right time in my life,” the 48-year-old Woods said when he came on stage at a high-end restaurant off Sunset Boulevard for what was more an event than a press conference. “It's transitional. I'm no longer a kid anymore.”
He wore a cashmere hoodie and black shoes, minus the swoosh.
The company said the creation of Sun Day Red incorporates Woods' 15 major championships into the logo of a tiger stretched across the three words. Woods said he would update the logo if he were to win another a major.
The logo came from the “Rule of Three” — using three words for greater impact. Woods is fond of saying his goals in golf were to “Work hard, think hard, play hard.”
"I have learned so much over the years and have a lifetime of experience adjusting my apparel and footwear to help me play better based on the way it was constructed,” Woods said in a news release. “There are things that I could tell you that no one knew I was doing over the years. I’m ready to share those secrets with the world.”
Woods has worn some variation of red on Sunday his entire career because his Thai-born mother, Kultida, told him it was his power color.
TaylorMade Golf plans to launch online in the United States and Canada its first apparel line for men on May 1, between the Masters and the PGA Championship. The website went live as Woods and TaylorMade CEO David Abeles spoke. The hope is to expand to key markets, along with eventually adding footwear, women’s and kids’ lines.
Shadow boxes revealed various apparel, along with golf shoes, golf gloves and the tiger logo on the front of the cap, which for a quarter-century featured a Nike swoosh or a “TW.”
Sun Day Red is a standalone brand that will have its own designers, staff and headquarters. Woods and TaylorMade have added leaders from fashion and culture to run the brand. Brad Blankinship, who previously led lines such as Quiksilver and RVCA, has been appointed president of Sun Day Red.
The announcement came three days before Woods makes his 2024 debut in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, a signature event on the PGA Tour for which he is the tournament host.
Woods and Nike ended 27 years together at the end of last year. He wore the swoosh on his shirt for the final time at the PNC Championship that he played with his son, Charlie, who was wearing clothes from a different apparel company.
All signs pointed to an expanded deal with TaylorMade, which filed four trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Sunday Red” or “SDR.”
Woods has been teasing the announcement on social media recently. He posted a closeup of his face a week ago Monday that said, “The vision remains the same.” On Friday, he posted a darkened picture of him wearing a red shirt that said, “A new day rises.”
Key to his fabled red shirt on Sunday is getting to the final round, and his chances are more limited than ever because of his multiple injuries.
Woods played all four rounds at Riviera last year. He made the cut in the 2023 Masters, only to withdraw before finishing the rain-delayed third round on Sunday morning. He had surgery to fuse his ankle after the Masters and did not return until December for his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas against a 20-man field.
As a signature event, the Genesis Invitational carries a $20 million purse, with $4 million to the winner. Because it's a player-hosted tournament, there will be a 36-hole cut to the top 50 and ties, and any player within 10 shots of the lead.
Woods was optimistic in the Bahamas last year, setting a goal of playing once a month through the major season season. That new season starts at Riviera.
AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf