Tiger Announces TaylorMade as New Club Sponsor
The golfing world has never really found a way to get over the mystique of Tiger Woods. Despite persistent injuries, the 41 year old remains a dominant presence at any tournament he makes an appearance at.
This is all excellent news for TaylorMade, after the announcement this week that they will be putting clubs into Tiger's hands for the foreseeable future. With a high profile week at the Farmers Insurance Open ahead, Wood's chose his moment to tell the world that his new equipment of choice would come from TaylorMade. For the moment that means that he will have TaylorMade driver and woods in his bag, moving on to irons and wedges that he will develop with the company over the next few months.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) January 25, 2017
The impetus behind this change of clubs for Woods comes off the back of Nike’s surprise exit from the golf equipment market last year. Instead, the iconic sports brand is sticking to what they know best: apparel and shoes.
But why does the TaylorMade and rest of the golf industry care so much about a 41 year-old golfer who didn't make a PGA Tour start last season and continues to face injury after injury?
Part of it is certainly because Tiger Woods has a status in the golf world that can only be described as legendary. His 14 major wins and 79 tour victories say one thing, but the control Tiger seemed to hold over every tournament he turned up to in the first half of his career made him a global icon beyond golf.
Woods excited the world beyond the realms of golfers, he brought Nike right into the center of the sport, and his steely determination and winners attitude catapulted his mysterious persona into the stratosphere.
Since his demise a void has emerged. McIlroy, Day and Spieth all threatened to fill it, but none have managed to pull off what Tiger did: to capture the attention of young people worldwide, drawing a new generation of golfers into the game.
What Tiger was able to do, by dominating like he did, was to catapult golf into a new era. As every year passes where a new dominant and youthful force isn't capturing everyone's attention, the sport falls further away from the millennial audience. Millennials want a sport that is as energized, thrilling and dramatic as the latest episode of Game of Thrones. They can feel the energy in their new favorite sport: cycling. They can scream at the television while watching the football. They can debate for hours about the pros and cons of CrossFit.
Golf just doesn't have that draw for them right now. So for now, King Tiger reigns on.
Image via TaylorMade