It’s been five years since Tiger Woods won a PGA Tour event and a decade since he won a major. For the past two years, he didn’t even compete in the Masters.
But now he’s back, and all eyes are on the once-and-possibly-future king. He teed off at 10:40 a.m. Eastern today (inauspiciously driving left of the fairway and behind the crowds, though later saving par).
Nike Golf soon followed up with a 60-second spot recapping his spectacular rise to stardom while acknowledging—though admittedly quite lightly—his struggles with performance, injury and high-profile personal struggles.
In addition to career highlights, the commercial also notably features several of Woods’ iconic advertising moments, such as the classic 1999 “ball juggling” ad. That spot was directed by Doug Liman (known for Swingers, The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and famously began as an outtake when the crew spotted Woods warming up by bouncing the ball with his club.
We also see a few scenes from a campaign that centered on his smartmouthed, tiger-head club cover, known as Frank.
And of course we’re reminded of his most famous shot in Augusta National history (and possibly ever), when he pitched his ball 25 feet left of the hole and landed it juuuuust right to roll all the way to the flag and sit precariously at the hole’s edge for a seeming eternity (with the Nike swoosh on full display) before finally falling in amid cries of ecstasy. Nike’s marketing chief called it “a time you remember where you were when it happened.”
Nike Golf seems confident that the 2018 Masters will be “a comeback like no other” for Woods.
“It is remarkable to see him make it through such a tough period of injury,” said Martin Buckley, global vp and general manager of Nike Golf. “Tiger being back in contention has brought incredible energy to the sport, the fans and to the brand. The passion and excitement he brings to the game are unparalleled.”
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