Nike’s stock price jumped by $2 billion after Tiger Woods’ remarkable 2019 Master victory. Nike has sponsored Woods since 1996 and has stuck with the golfer after his career ran aground amid a sex scandal, DUI arrest and multiple injuries.
Nike quickly released an ad to celebrate Woods’ 15th major championship win on Sunday.
Tiger Woods’ stunning win at the 2019 Masters Championship is paying dividends for his longtime sponsor, Nike.
The sporting gear company’s stock price rose 2 percent after the golf tournament’s kickoff on April 11 and continued to edge up Monday following his victory, adding more than $2 billion to Nike’s market value. Sales of some Woods-branded items sold by Nike are also jumping.
Woods’ first at the Masters in 14 years and his fifth “green jacket” — has captured public attention in the way few sporting events do, marking the epic professional comeback of one of the world’s most famous athletes.
Advertisers including AT&T, Gillette and Gatorade cut ties with Woods after a 2009 sex scandal and an arrest for driving under the influence. But Nike, which has sponsored Woods since the start of his career more than 20 years ago, largely stuck with him even after his personal and professional life went into a tailspin.
The “Tiger effect” from the tournament win was also enough to boost the stock prices of other golf brands. Callaway Golf spiked as much as 4 percent from the start of the Masters Championship through Monday. Acushnet Holdings, which owns Titleist, jumped nearly 5 percent in the same period.
Nike seemed prepared for Woods’ victory, unlikely, as it seemed. The company was able to trot out a tribute to the golfer the same hour as his Masters win — the message: persevering through adversity. The company said it has had the ad ready to release for years.
“It’s crazy to think a 43-year-old who has experienced every high and every low and has just won his 15th major is chasing the same dream as a 3-year-old,” the spot said.
Yet while Americans love a comeback, some experts question whether hoisting another Masters trophy will lead to more endorsement deals for Woods.
“In the #MeToo era, it will be difficult for Woods to come back as the mega-endorser he once was,” said Ronn Torossian, CEO of public relations firm 5WPR. “Nike stood by him, and obviously they’re going to capitalize on his win, but I don’t think many Fortune 500 companies will come back to work with him.”
And while the win may reflect well on Nike, the company in 2016 dumped its line of golf equipment due to weak sales. It still sells Woods-branded apparel, but it no longer sells golf clubs, balls or bags.
“It won’t materially move the revenue number for Nike,” Wedbush Securities analyst Christopher Svezia said.
Nike’s stock has often reflected the ups and downs of its clients. In February, the shares fell after college basketball star Zion Williamson busted his Nike shoe during a game, resulting in a mild knee injury for and taking $1.1 billion off Nike’s market value.