Tiger Woods has netted a sponsor to advertise on his golf bag, making inroads to rebuilding what once was an unrivaled endorsement portfolio.
Five weeks after landing Rolex as a corporate partner, Woods announced a new endorser with a far lower profile: Fuse Science, a Florida-based company that touts developing more-efficient technologies to help the human body consume nutrients and medicines. Among its first products, which soon is scheduled for release, are energy-providing drops applied under the tongue that lead to faster body absorption.
In addition to Woods, Fuse Science announced in August that it had entered into endorsement partnerships with three players with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins: Paul Soliai, Sean Smith and Nolan Carroll. Among the company’s other endorsers are Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Rhonde Barber and Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. Fuse Science also had a short-lived deal with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, which the company canceled when it discovered Vick also had signed a deal with another sports nutrition company.
Woods’ new agreement – only the second domestic endorsement since his sex scandal and fall from grace two years ago – reflects a willingness among companies, whether big or small, to rely again on the former world No. 1 as their corporate pitchman.
As dominant in the global marketing arena as he was on the golf course, Woods attracted deals that once earned him nearly $100 million annually. He represented blue-chip brands and category leaders, including Accenture, AT&T and Gatorade. After his sex scandal, most of Woods’ major corporate partners severed ties with him, with Nike and EA Sports being the notable exceptions.
“Our partnership with the world’s best is an enabler to have a worldwide impact sooner than later,” said Brian Tuffin, Fuse Science’s president and chief operating officer, in a statement. In addition to producing its own products, the company has stated its intent to license its technologies to improve product performance in categories such as nutrition, medication and skin care.
Woods will not display the company on his bag, however, until the Chevron World Challenge that starts Dec. 1 in California. He is playing the Australian Open this week, then goes next week to the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, where corporate endorsements for players give way to team uniforms for the week. Woods will represent the Fuse Science technology, intellectual property, unique delivery system, and future products to be developed in the sports nutrition and energy categories.
– Associated Press contributed