Even for those with only a passing interest in golf, one of the sport’s most memorable images is of Tiger Woods powering his way to another major tournament victory wearing a red polo shirt with a white Nike logo.
However, that image is now officially a thing of the past. In January, 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 announcements and, of course, red Nike t-shirts which Mr. Woods used during many final rounds on Sundays.
When 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. It will be sewn with a tiger in the center, the logo of his new brand under TaylorMade: Sun Day Red.
Sun Day Red is marketed as a “lifestyle brand” for both sports fans and non-athletes and will include apparel (including cashmere sweaters) and shoes, David Abeles, CEO of TaylorMade, said in an interview. (Mr. Woods switched to Nike FootJoy shoes after his car accident in 2021.)
It wasn’t entirely clear what role the design will play in that outfit, but Abeles said “the design language of the products is completely different” from the products Woods used in his last endorsement deal. Initial promotional images showed a new logo: a tiger with 15 stripes to mark the number of major championships Woods has won; a black long-sleeved T-shirt with the brand name, Sun Day Red; and his version of the red polo, which is on the bloodier end of the red spectrum and includes black buttons, suggesting attention to detail. (To be fair, there’s only so much someone can do with a polo.)
Mr. Woods’ affinity for red comes from his mother, who is from Thailand, where the color is important.
“We worked with what he believes is the red most associated with his color palette,” Abeles said. “The red color he chose is the most prominent and most consistent with what he believes to be the red that has inspired him.”
As for the space between “Sun” and “Day,” Abeles said it was intended to underscore the brand as more than just a weekly setting.
“Sunday red is the color that Tiger has made very famous on Sundays,” he said. But Woods “plays golf more than just on Sundays,” Abeles added.
In ambition, if not design, Sun Day Red reflects a growing trend, one in which athletes see long-term potential in the growing convergence of fashion and sports in a category known as “lifestyle.”
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 he became an investor and guest designer for On, the Swiss sneaker company, and in 2022 Tom Brady launched Brady, a menswear brand developed in collaboration with Jens Grede, the brains behind Kim Kardashian’s Skims. Serena Williams also has her own fashion line, S by Serena.
Abeles did not confirm whether Woods had shares in the brand.
Sun Day Red will exist as an independent brand within TaylorMade, with its own headquarters and team of designers. The company has appointed Brad Blankinship, who was previously at Quiksilver, to oversee daily operations.
Sun Day Red will make its products available for sale online for the first time on May 1, with the goal of expanding internationally. Polos will cost between $115 and $175 and cashmere sweaters will cost between $250 and $350.
Woods has had an equipment deal with TaylorMade since 2017, when Nike closed its equipment business. The company approached Woods about expanding their relationship in recent months, Abeles said. He included a visit to Mr. Woods’ boardroom in Jupiter, Florida, where the TaylorMade team showed him a presentation video that “really connected to his legacy, his greatness, his values and his future.” .
Woods is now entering, in many ways, a new era in his professional life, nearly five years after his last major championship. Last year, joined the powerful board of the PGA Tour and has been a key player in the deliberations as he negotiates his future. .
Woods announced the deal with TaylorMade on Monday in Southern California, where he will host the Genesis Invitational tournament.
“I have learned a lot over the years and have a lifetime of experience adjusting my clothing and footwear to help me play better based on the way they were constructed,” Woods said in a statement. “There are things I could tell you that no one knew I was doing over the years. “I’m ready to share those secrets with the world.”