Even for those with only a passing interest in golf, one of the sport’s most memorable images is that of Tiger Woods blasting his way to another major tournament victory while wearing a red polo shirt with a white Nike swoosh.
But this image is officially a thing of the past. In January, Mr. Woods announced the end of his 27-year contract with Nike, which had earned him hundreds of millions of dollars. The partnership was marked by memorable advertisements and, of course, the red Nike jerseys that Mr. Woods wore in many Sunday finals.
When Mr. Woods announced the end of his partnership with Nike, he said there would “definitely be another chapter.” On Monday, he and his new brand sponsor, TaylorMade Golf, made it clear that the next chapter would once again include a red polo shirt. It will be sewn with a tiger in the center, the logo of its new brand under TaylorMade: Sun Day Red.
Sun Day Red is being marketed as a “lifestyle brand” aimed at both sports enthusiasts and non-athletes and will include clothing – even cashmere sweaters – and shoes, said David Abeles, chief executive of TaylorMade, in an interview. (Mr. Woods I opted for FootJoy shoes from Nike after his car accident in 2021.)
It’s not entirely clear what role design will play in these clothes, but Mr. Abeles said “the design language of the products is completely different” from the products Mr. Woods wore during his last contract. sponsorship. Early promotional images showed a new logo: a tiger with 15 stripes to mark the number of major championships won by Mr. Woods; a black long-sleeved T-shirt with the brand name, Sun Day Red, on it; and his version of the red polo shirt, which sits at the bloodier end of the red spectrum and includes black buttons, suggesting attention to detail. (To be honest, there’s only so much everyone can do with a polo shirt.)
Mr. Woods’ affinity for red comes from his mother, who was originally from Thailand, where the color has meaning.
“We worked on what he considers the red most associated with his color palette,” Mr. Abeles said. “The red color he chose is the one that is most striking and most consistent with what he believes to be the red that inspired him.”
As for the space between “Sun” and “Day,” Mr. Abeles said it was intended to emphasize the brand as more than a weekly tweak.
“Sunday red is the color that Tiger made very famous on Sunday,” he said. But Mr. Woods “plays golf more than on Sundays,” Mr. Abeles added.
In terms of ambition, even design, Sun Day Red reflects a growing trend, in which athletes see long-term potential in the growing convergence of fashion and sports into a single category known as “sports style”. life “.
To that end, many are less interested in being living advertisements for a sponsor than actual participants, demanding greater ownership and control over their own brand. In 2019, Roger Federer became both an investor and guest designer for On, the Swiss sneaker company, and in 2022, Tom Brady unveiled Brady, a men’s clothing brand developed in collaboration with Jens Grede, the mastermind behind the Skims by Kim Kardashian. Serena Williams also has her own fashion line, S by Serena.
Mr. Abeles would not confirm whether Mr. Woods had any equity in the brand.
Sun Day Red will exist as a standalone brand within TaylorMade, with its own headquarters and team of designers. The company named Brad Blankinship, who previously worked at Quiksilver, to oversee day-to-day operations.
Sun Day Red will make its products available for sale online for the first time on May 1, with the aim of eventually expanding internationally. Polo shirts will cost between $115 and $175 and cashmere sweaters between $250 and $350.
Mr. Woods has had an equipment deal with TaylorMade since 2017, when Nike closed its equipment business. The company has pitched an expanded relationship to Mr. Woods in recent months, Mr. Abeles said. This included a visit to Mr. Woods’ conference room in Jupiter, Florida, where the TaylorMade team showed him a video presentation “truly tied to his heritage, his greatness, his values and his future.”
Mr. Woods is now, in many ways, entering a new era in his professional life, nearly five years after his last major championship. Last year, he joined the PGA Tour’s powerful board of directors and has been a key player in deliberations as it negotiates its future.
Mr. Woods announced the deal with TaylorMade on Monday in Southern California, where it is hosting the Genesis Invitational tournament.
“I have learned a lot over the years and have a lifetime of experience adjusting my clothing and shoes to help me play better based on how they were constructed,” Mr. Woods said in a statement. “There are things I could tell you that no one knew I did over the years. “I’m ready to share these secrets with the world.”