Trademark Filings Might Clarify Tiger Woods’s Nike Departure

Woods announced a new company, Sun Day Red, this week

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods of the United States waits to tee off from the fifth tee during the second round of The Genesis Invitational.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

This year in the business of sports began with a seismic announcement: Tiger Woods and Nike ended their relationship after 27 years. The two had long seemed inseparable; there are current PGA tour golfers who have literally never known a time when Woods didn’t work with Nike. Once the initial shock wore off, golf observers were left with two big questions: what was next for Woods, and why did he part ways with Nike to begin with?

This week brings with it answers to both of those questions. The first piece of news was of the launch of Sun Day Red, an apparel company set for a formal launch on May 1. Analysis of the company’s trademark filings suggests something more is at work here: Woods isn’t just endorsing the company’s apparel; he’s also an owner of it.

Writing at Business Insider, Cork Gaines explored the trademark filings for Sun Day Red and got some clarity about Woods’s and TaylorMade’s relationship to the new company. Gaines points to analysis by attorney and trademark expert Josh Gerben, who analyzed the findings on social media.

“The deal structure suggests that Tiger and TaylorMade are sharing ownership (and profits) of the new company,” Gerben wrote.

Gerben also pointed out that, while the announcement may have been a surprise, the groundwork has been in place for a while now. “The new company was first formed back in March 2023,” he wrote. “This indicates that the partnership has been in the works for at least a year (long before Tiger’s Nike contract expired)”.

Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake Behind Luxury Development in Florida
The Wellington, located in an equestrian hub, will also feature a revitalized golf course

It’s not surprising to see Woods join the ranks of athletes starting their own business ventures. And, as Gaines points out at Business Insider, Nike reportedly did not partner with Woods on the scale that TaylorMade seemingly has. In an era where the line between celebrity and entrepreneur is increasingly blurring, Woods’s new project feels especially timely.

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