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Tiger Woods’ remarkable golf career and his 27-year partnership with Nike stand as a testament to sports marketing, branding, and trademark protection.

Recent ripples in this bromance have left aficionados (around our office) speculating about the destiny of Woods’ trademark “Sunday red” ensemble.

Back in ’96, Woods and Nike weren’t just exchanging high-fives for endorsements. They birthed a whole golfing galaxy of gear and attire, bedazzled with the “TW” logo, a beacon of sheer brilliance on the green. Wrapping legal armor around these trademarks was Nike’s version of wielding Excalibur, fortifying both Woods’ personal aura and Nike’s reign over golfing couture.

Fast forward nearly three decades, and the reasons behind the non-renewal are a bit of a mystery, leaving us to indulge in speculative musings. Recent occurrences, like Woods’ triumphant return from a severe car mishap, his sabbatical from professional golf, and the eyebrow-raising choice of recovery footwear, have all played a part in the decision not to extend his partnership with Nike. This signals the end of an era that cheekily redefined the game of sports endorsements and branding strategies. Now, amidst the pondering, we playfully ask: what fate befalls Woods’ legendary “Sunday red” attire?

That red-hot ensemble wasn’t just a fashion statement; it was Tiger’s war paint, signaling an impending charge on the greens. Now, with the Nike love story reaching the final chapter, speculations arise about the fate of this trademark attire. Will Woods sport the crimson garb under a new banner or toss it for a fresh wardrobe? Whatever he chooses, his golfing gusto remains intact, no matter the attire alterations.

As Woods ponders his golfing journey and weighs the trajectory of his career, the Nike split paves a new fairway. It’s a chance for fresh collaborations and ingenious spins on his on-course wardrobe. The crystal ball for Sunday red remains clouded, but Woods’ mojo in golf and his unwavering spirit are set to inspire the next generations of golfing aficionados.

This 27-year escapade with Nike was a masterpiece blending athletic prowess, branding acumen, and trademark protection. Though the curtain’s down on this sensational saga, Woods’ imprint on golf and branding endures. The future look of Sunday red might get a facelift, but Tiger’s everlasting mark on the sport transcends any fashion overhaul on the green stage.


This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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