BREAKING: Tiger Woods announces Sun Day Red apparel partnership with TaylorMade

Shortly after finishing a 27-year run of wearing NIKE gear, Tiger Woods has decided on his next apparel landing spot.

Woods has announced an expanded partnership with TaylorMade, a brand set to make its first meaningful entrance into the apparel space. The 15-time major champion has played TaylorMade clubs dating back to 2017—now he will be the face of its new Sun Day Red apparel line

The line will launch on May 1.

“It’s the right time in my life,” Woods said Monday at an unveiling party. “It’s transitional. I’m not a kid any more. I want to have a brand I’m proud of going forward.”

According to TaylorMade CEO David Abeles, the new brand is a separate vertical within TaylorMade’s holding company. It is based in San Clemente, California, rather than TaylorMade’s Carlsbad headquarters, and will have its own staff.

“This brand stands alone,” Abeles said. “It is independent of TaylorMade… we are going to sunrise a brand tonight that will live with us, our lives, our families, everybody for generations to come.”

The announcement was made this evening as tournament week at the Genesis Invitational has commenced. Woods, host of the event, is making his first official PGA Tour start since last year’s Masters.

Last month, four trademark applications for a new Sun Day Red brand were submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by TaylorMade Lifestyle Ventures LLC. The primary logo in the application was shared widely on social media, and that was indeed the logo that came to light Monday. There are 15 stripes in the logo to represent each major victory in Tiger’s career.

During a media event in Los Angeles, a range of apparel—from polos to hoodies—was on display.

When Woods signed with TaylorMade seven years ago, the deal included an ownership stake in the company. Abeles called this latest venture with Woods, “a full-blown unequivocal partnership.”

It’s been a poorly kept secret that TaylorMade, a longtime equipment manufacturer since 1979, would enter the apparel market. Signs became more obvious in recent months as job postings popped up for positions in their new apparel division. 

Brad Blankinship, who previously led lines such as Quiksilver and RVCA, has been appointed president of Sun Day Red.

Woods had worn NIKE apparel since turning pro in 1996. He made a reported $500 million throughout the life of the deal, including $200 million in his 10-year contract renewal that began in 2013.

That deal expired last month as Woods and NIKE opted to go separate ways. It was one of most iconic athlete-brand relationships in sports history. 

Woods played NIKE equipment from the early 2000’s through 2016 when the company left the hard-goods business. That opened the door for Woods to sign with TaylorMade. Other than his Bridgestone golf ball and Scotty Cameron putter, Woods has used TaylorMade gear since 2017. 

TaylorMade has a very limited apparel presence with athleisure items on their website, but they have not been producing meaningful on-course apparel. Adidas acquired TaylorMade in 1997 but sold the company off to KPS Capital Partners in 2017.

Prior to 2017, NIKE golfers wore NIKE apparel and TaylorMade golfers wore adidas apparel—but the sale opened the door for crossovers, allowing Woods to wear NIKE apparel while playing TaylorMade clubs. 

Now Woods will have TaylorMade clubs and apparel. He will debut the new threads at Riviera Country Club this week.

“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 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. Sun Day Red will embody a love of playing and competing, and we are for people that share those values, whether it’s on the course, or in life. We will be anchored to putting the athlete first in the product decisions we make.”

There are several other notable TaylorMade athletes who wear NIKE apparel, including Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Scottie Scheffler and Nelly Korda. 

There is speculation NIKE could be getting out of the golf apparel space entirely. Jason Day, a longtime wearer of NIKE, recently left the Swoosh to sign with Malbon. NIKE recently announced plans to cut $2 billion in costs over the next three years, which would include layoffs of hundreds of employees.

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