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Student golfers examine Tiger Woods’ new brand

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Art by River Wu

A black hat, red shirt and black pants with Nike logos stitched in white is the most deadly sight in golf. Add the famed green jacket and Masters Trophy with the Augusta National clubhouse on top and you have the iconic scene: Tiger Woods winning the Masters Tournament for the fifth time in 2019. 

However, following his return to golf at the Genesis Invitational in February for the first time since his injury at the 2023 Masters, Woods wasn’t donning the iconic Nike badge, but rather the logo from his newly released apparel brand: Sun Day Red. 

Since Woods’ first professional appearance in golf 27 years ago, Nike has partnered with Woods in an iconic brand relationship worth over $660 million.  However, Woods began wearing FootJoy shoes for more stability during his 2022 return to golf, following his 2021 car crash and subsequent recovery. Nike also began scaling back their golf equipment production in 2016 as they prepared to exit the sport, which was also the reason why they couldn’t offer Woods a lifetime contract, according to an article from SportsPro Media. Despite claiming he was still committed to Nike after the Genesis Invitational, the partnership officially ended after Woods’ Jan. 8 announcement. 

Freshman Maxwell Liu, who plays varsity golf for Paly, said seeing Woods without the Nike logo is dispiriting. 

“It’s a little disappointing since we’re so used to seeing Tiger and Nike together during their decades long partnership,” Liu said. 

However, in the Sun Day Red launch on Feb.13, Woods said his departure from Nike allowed him to release his own apparel line in conjunction with sports equipment company TaylorMade Golf.

“It’s the right time in my life,” Woods said. “It’s transitional, I’m no longer a kid anymore. Life changes, I have kids now, and this is an important part of transitioning into this part of my life, to have a product and a brand that I’m proud of.”

The Sun Day Red brand, represented by a Tiger with 15 stripes –– one for each of Woods’ major wins –– will be marketed as a lifestyle brand, including athletic apparel and casual wear according to TaylorMade Chief Executive David Abeles. The line will include Woods’ famous red polo, and will also expand to hoodies, outerwear, footwear and cashmere sweaters. 

Woods’ new independence allows him to follow the footsteps of other athletes, such as Roger Federer’s RF collection with Uniqlo, Serena Williams with her brand, S by Serena, Tom Brady with Brady Brand and many more. 

According to an article by the New York Times, Woods’ partnership with TaylorMade allows him to branch out from Nike and release his own high-end clothing, with prices of polo’s expected to range from $115 to $175, and cashmere sweaters from $250 to $350. 

While the first drop is scheduled for May 1st, junior and varsity boys golfer Justun Kim, among other students, said the release of Woods’s brand is overhyped. 

“This isn’t much more than a gimmick,” Kim said. “Aside from Tiger’s name, the brand offers nothing outstanding. The brand’s hope of success solely stems from Tiger’s identity —nothing else.” 

Junior Anika Nair, who plays varsity girls golf for Paly, said Woods’s brand doesn’t feel distinctly special or in-demand. 

“I think the market for celebrity brands is already extremely over-saturated and launching another brand is unnecessary, especially with clothing that is not particularly unique or original,” Nair said. 

Kim also said he believes Woods’ clothing brand will have little impact on how Woods is remembered. 

“I think it’s great that he’s continuing his legacy even after his prime, but it’s not much,” Kim said. “He’s a legend, that’s true, but a clothing brand won’t make (him) any more legendary.” 

While Liu said he understands how the launch may be underwhelming, he is excited to see how Sun Day Red grows. 

“It’s just cool that (Woods) continues to be involved with the sport,” Liu said. “I’m excited to see what he does with the brand.”

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Rohan Bhatia, Sports Editor
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