TaylorMade deserves a green jacket of its own for buying into the Tiger Woods brand at a low and riding it back to the very pinnacle of American sports.
In case you have been living under a rock the past 24 hours, Woods secured his 15th major championship win on Sunday with an epic comeback win at the Masters. The win gives Woods his fifth green jacket, one behind all-time leader Jack Nicklaus.
The irons Woods used on Sunday to shape some of his amazing shots: the TaylorMade P7TW. That’s right, not sticks made from long-time Woods sponsor Nike, which decided to exit the golf equipment space in 2016.
For TaylorMade, Tiger’s win likely has its executive team ecstatic.
TaylorMade signed arguably the sport’s biggest legend, Tiger Woods, to a multi-year endorsement deal in January 2017. Some three months later, Woods underwent a risky spinal fusion operation to relieve years of back pain. Woods’ return to golf was highly uncertain and consequently, his ability to promote TaylorMade’s equipment was also in question.
Fast forward to present day, Woods secured his first win in more than five years at the Tour Championship last September. He is now a Masters champion again and will tee it up at the PGA Championship in May the odds on favorite to win the year’s second major.
Tiger’s impact on how brands are perceived
Excitement around Woods could lead people back into the sport (and in the market for equipment), similar to the effect during Woods’ heyday in the early 2000s.
“It has been exciting,” TaylorMade CEO David Abeles told Yahoo Finance about Woods’ resurgence earlier this year. “It [Tiger] has a material impact to how your brand is perceived.” Abeles said Woods helps TaylorMade’s research and development team conjure up new products.
Adidas sold off TaylorMade to private equity firm KPS Capital Partners for $425 million in 2017. KPS Capital Partners has particular expertise working with manufacturing companies, which has helped Adidas focus on product engineering.
“Strategically nothing has changed with the company,” Abeles said about life after the deal. “It’s wonderful to be a private company in this day and time in our space because it enables us to invest in our company for the long-term.”
TaylorMade has moved quickly to capitalize on Woods’ Masters win. On its homepage, the company is letting consumers buy the clubs Tiger used in his win. The company is offering the P7TW irons for a cool $1,999.
The P730 irons fellow TaylorMade-sponsored athlete Dustin Johnson used at the Masters (he finished tied for second place) sell for $1,399.
Talk about a Tiger premium.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi