Update: Feb. 12, 2023
Tiger Woods’ relationship with TaylorMade Golf began in 2017 with a multiyear equipment endorsement agreement. That partnership was extended on Monday with the launch of Sun Day Red, a lifestyle brand.
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Sun Day Red, according to a statement from TaylorMade Golf, will offer premium apparel and footwear. The brand also said it will work with Woods to use his expertise to develop on performance apparel and footwear. As for the Sun Day Red logo, TaylorMade Golf said it incorporates Woods’ 15 major championship wins within the design.
TaylorMade Golf said in Monday’s statement that Sun Day Red is a standalone brand with a dedicated team of designers and staff, as well as its own headquarters. Brad Blankinship, whose prior experience includes Quiksilver and RVCA, has been appointed president of Sun Day Red.
Its first line of apparel for men will debut on May 1 online in the United States and Canada. The brand confirmed it plans to expand availability in key markets outside of North America at retail, and broaden its product offering to include footwear, women and kids’ lines.
“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. 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,” Woods said in a statement. “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. TaylorMade Golf has been a great partner on the equipment side. They have the best people who I deeply trust, and they can bring this to life like no one else.”
What We Reported on Jan. 8, 2023
Tiger Woods and Nike confirmed their split via Instagram on Monday, marking the end to their iconic and fruitful 27-year relationship. However, the golf legend’s post has left his fans asking a million-dollar question: Where will he go next?
After thanking Nike co-founder Phil Knight and others, Woods concluded his Instagram post by stating, “People will ask if there is another chapter. Yes, there will certainly be another chapter. See you in LA!”
Although some brands play on the fringes of golf, with Woods in the later stages of his professional career, Spurwink River advisor Matt Powell told FN that the ideal landing spot would be with a brand that is established in the sport that has both footwear and apparel.
Some in the Instagram comment section under Woods’ post offered their best guesses on the brands that could potentially sign him next. One of the brands mentioned frequently was Malbon Golf.
It makes sense that fans would speculate over Malbon Golf as a spot where Woods might land. The brand, which was founded in 2017 by Stephen and Erica Malbon, is based in Los Angeles, the city Woods mentioned at the end of his post. And at the start of January, Jason Day — a former Nike athlete — left the Swoosh to with the brand.
Others have speculated a deal with Greyson Clothiers is near. The brand, founded in 2015 by Ralph Lauren design veteran Charlie Schaefer, has recently found itself in headlines with the Woods family. In December 2023, reports surfaced that Greyson Clothiers was nearing a deal with the golf icon’s son, Charlie Woods.
“I’m not suggesting that he [Tiger Woods] would follow [his son], but he might. He might think that’s an important story, to support his son,” Powell said.
On X (formerly Twitter), Sportbusiness.com editor-in-chief Callum McCarthy offered Skechers as a potential destination. “If he isn’t wearing a pair of heel-raise Skechers at Augusta, I’ll be shocked,” McCarthy wrote.
Skechers, which is based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., has made inroads in golf in recent years. For instance, brand ambassador Matt Fitzpatrick — who wears the brand’s comfort-driven Go Golf Pro 5 Hyper look — won the 2023 RBC Heritage and the 2022 U.S. Open. And as recently as July 2023, when Skechers reported its Q2 2023 earnings, CEO Robert Greenberg called out the company’s strong standing in high performance golf as a reason for the period’s success.
Skechers, which has been a marketing powerhouse for decades, has signed high-profile celebrities in recent years, including Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. Also, the company has inked deals with NBA players Julius Randle and Terence Mann, and has not been shy about its major ambitions to dominate more sports in the future.
What’s more, the brand has signed several pro athletes in the latter stages of their storied careers, such as running icons Meb Keflezighi in 2011 and Kara Goucher in 2014. Woods turned pro in 1996.
FN reached out to Skechers for comment on a potential deal.
Another brand mentioned in the comments under Woods’ post was TaylorMade: However, for the fans clinging to “see you in LA,” the TaylorMade headquarters is outside of the Los Angeles area in Carlsbad.
On’s leadership also had to deflect rumors Monday that he was signing with the brand. On co-CEO Marc Maurer started his presentation at the 2024 ICR conference on Monday addressing the rumors, stating, “We have heard the rumors and we hope Tiger finds a great new partner, but it’s not going to be us.”
Although speculating is mounting about Woods’ next golf brand home, Powell cautioned that a mega deal might not be in the cards.
“The one thing to keep in mind is that he has not sold a lot of product since he’s been in and out of the game, really since the automobile accident [in February 2021],” Powell said. “He’s played so little and he hasn’t played well. He still certainly gets ratings when he’s playing, the ratings shoot way up, but in terms of merchandise sales, he really has been a relative non factor. I don’t know that he’s going to be the kind of athlete that’s going to move a lot of product.”
He continued, “What we have to look out for here is what the expectations of the brand are, what his expectations and earnings are — and can they afford to put out lots of money for an athlete [when they] may not get a return on that investment.”
About the Author
Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at email@example.com.
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