PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – The worst-kept secret in golf was officially unveiled – Tiger Woods and TaylorMade have partnered to launch a new premium active-lifestyle apparel and footwear brand.
“We’re going to sunrise a brand,” said TaylorMade CEO David Abeles at a launch party on Monday evening, announcing an extended partnership with Tiger to launch Sun Day Red as a standalone business.
Tiger ended his 27-year relationship with Nike at the end of 2023. On Thursday, he is scheduled to tee it up at the Genesis Invitational wearing Sun Day Red.
“It’s the right time in my life,” Tiger said. “It’s transitional. I’m not a kid anymore. I want to have a brand I’m proud of going forward.”
Given his existing relationship with TaylorMade and their investment in PopStroke, a company that Tiger is an investor in too, it’s a natural progression for TaylorMade and Tiger to get further into bed together. It’s unclear how much of a stake, if any, Tiger has in the new brand but he’s more than just an endorser.
“Let me be very clear, what we’re doing with Tiger, this is no endorsement,” Abeles said. “This is a full-blown, unequivocal partnership.”
Asked after his presentation to elaborate on Tiger’s stake in the new standalone brand, Abeles said, “We don’t disclose economic provisions within how we put things together but we are intimate partners. We are partners in every sense of the word.”
Pressed further, he would only add, “We are great partners.”
Here’s a first look at some of the Sun Day Red gear from Tiger and TaylorMade. For sale May 1. pic.twitter.com/Y0bdemxrNi
— Adam Schupak (@AdamSchupak) February 13, 2024
Casey Alexander, senior vice president for Compass Point Research and Trading and the longest-tenured golf analyst on Wall Street, sees another reason why TaylorMade would be motivated to create more growth outlets.
“I don’t know if TaylorMade is going to do an IPO this year, next year or at all but if they were going to this would be an association that would make sense to create some juice around it if and when they were going to do a deal,” he said.
Tiger’s use of Nike clubs and balls failed to make its equipment an authentic brand with golfers and it eventually opted to exit the golf equipment business in 2016. But there’s no denying that Tiger elevated Nike to the premiere golf apparel brand during his prime. What will that mean for Sun Day Red?
“He’s a different guy now,”…