Nike’s Tiger Woods dilemma has a simple solution
The “Fully Equipped Hotline” has been around for almost two months, but this week marked the first time the crew has fielded a Tiger Woods question from a caller — and it was an interesting one.
The last time we saw Tiger in a competitive setting, he was walking off the course after re-aggravating his plantar fasciitis during the third round of this year’s Masters. For the second straight year, Woods spent the week strolling Augusta National’s fairways in a pair of FootJoy spikes that once again led to questions regarding the 15-time major winner’s association with Nike Golf, a brand he helped put on the map in the golf space 26 years ago.
When Woods officially debuted a pair of FootJoy Premier Series Packard spikes at the 2022 Masters, Nike issued a statement confirming that they were working with Woods on his “new needs” for the future.
“Like golf fans around the world, we are delighted to see Tiger back on the course,” Nike said in a statement. “He is an incredible athlete, and it is phenomenal to see him returning to the game at this level. His story continues to transcend sport and inspire us all. As he continues his return, we will work with him to meet his new needs.”
So far, we’ve yet to see anything in the way of a suitable Nike replacement for Woods. Not only that, they continue to promote Woods’ Air Zoom TW ’20 on the official website — a shoe currently worn by Scottie Scheffler, but not Woods.
Sources within the industry have claimed Woods could be leveraging his footwear situation for another deal with Nike, but it’s pure conjecture at this point. With his last Nike contract coming in 2013 — and no longer playing a regular tournament schedule — it’s highly unlikely we’ll get any clarity on the shoe situation anytime soon.
That being said, it’s been over a year since Nike confirmed something was in the works. Even if they can’t get Woods a made-for-retail version to wear on the course, it’d be smart for them to create a prototype that suits his needs and puts the story to bed when — yes, I’m banking on Tiger making a comeback — he returns to the course.
The last thing Nike wants is to have this storyline bubble up once again when Tiger makes his return at a future Masters.