Tiger’s 40 Biggest Moments: No. 16 – ‘Hello World’ Advertisement

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Over 40 days, is rolling out Tiger Woods’ 40 biggest moments. Our ranking started on Nov. 21 and will culminate on Dec. 30, which is Tiger’s 40th birthday. That’s 40 Tiger moments. In 40 days. Ranked. Click here to learn more about our list.

Tiger’s 40 Biggest Moments: No. 16 – ‘Hello, World’

On Aug. 28, 1996, two words changed golf — or golf marketing — forever: “Hello World.” The words were attributed to Tiger Woods, the messenger was Nike. It was an ideal marriage of money and celebrity.

On that Wednesday, one day before the start of the Greater Milwaukee Open, Tiger Woods stood behind a podium at a tournament press conference. Amid popping flashbulbs, Woods smiled wide, if sheepishly, and uttered his first words to the public since turning professional two days prior: “I guess, hello, world.” Those assembled laughed and seemed utterly charmed by what appeared to be a spontaneous statement. It was anything but.

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Within two days, Nike launched the “Hello world” ad campaign, which debuted with a three-page spread in the Wall Street Journal and with a series of 30- and 60-second spots on CBS and ESPN. Tiger’s “Hello, world” oration couldn’t have been more orchestrated.

On that Wednesday, the 20-year-old, newly minted multi-millionaire greeted the media at his presser decked out in Nike logoed-shirt, hat, various accessories, and those two words. When the Nike “Hello world” ad premiered, Tiger, Nike and golf blasted into the mainstream of sport, as much for its content as for its star. This was the spot: Hello world.

I shot in the 70s when I was 8.

I shot in the 60s when I was 12.

I played in the Nissan Open when I was 16.

Hello world.

I won the U.S. Amateur when I was 18.

I played in the Masters when I was 19.

I am the only man to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles.

Hello world.

There are still courses in the U.S. I am not allowed to play

Because of the color of my skin.

Hello world.

I’ve heard I’m not ready for you.

Are you ready for me?

The ad sparked controversy, even boycotts. It also reached consumers ages 18-29 at a 48 percent “very effective” rate and was later nominated for an Emmy. Golf had just become very big business. Hello, Tiger.

Check back on every day until Tiger’s birthday on Dec. 30 for a new moment in our TIGER@40 countdown.

No. 17: ‘Better Than Most’ at 2001 Players

No. 18: Winning the 2000 British Open at St. Andrews by 8

No. 19: Winning SI Sportsman of the Year in 1996

No. 20: Return from Scandal at 2010 Masters

No. 21: Winning Third Straight U.S. Amateur Title

No. 22: The Apology Press Conference

No. 23: Shot from Fairway Bunker at 2000 Canadian Open

No. 24: Passes Nicklaus in Career PGA Tour Wins

No. 25: Signs First Deal With Nike

No. 26: Knee Surgery After 2008 U.S. Open

No. 27: Winning Back-to-Back Masters

No. 28: Launching the Tiger Woods Foundation

No. 29: Becoming a Father for the First Time

No. 30: Ugly Breakup With Steve Williams

No. 31: First U.S. Amateur Win at TPC Sawgrass

No. 32: Wire-to-Wire British Open Win at St. Andrews in 2005

No. 33: Relationship With Lindsey Vonn

No. 34: Third Straight U.S. Junior Am Title

No. 35: A Shot in the Dark at Firestone

No. 36: Television Debut at Age 2

No. 37: Breakup with Hank Haney After Six Years

No. 38: Disastrous 2004 Ryder Cup Pairing with Phil Mickelson

No. 39: Beats Stephen Ames 9&8 in 2006 Cadillac Match Play

No. 40: Wins 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational with Dramatic Putt

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