Woods, Golf Digest end 13-year relationship
KAPALUA, Hawaii – Tiger Woods has one less endorsement deal, ending his 13-year relationship with golf’s biggest magazine when they couldn’t agree on how many hours he should devote to the job.
Golf Digest, with a circulation of 1.65 million, announced Thursday the mutual end of a relationship that began at the 1997 Masters. He made his debut in the magazine in June that year, and the endorsement had been his second-longest, behind Nike.
“We appreciate the insights Tiger has provided to our readers,” Jerry Tarde, chairman and editor-in-chief of the publication, said in a statement. Woods’ articles mainly were instructional tips.
Golf Digest never disclosed terms of the deal, although it was believed to be among the smallest financially for Woods – no more than $2 million a year. The value came from exposure, along with some content provided for Woods’ website.
“The reality is his deal was up at the end of the year,” said Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG. “Because we’re living in this digital world, they needed more time from him. He wasn’t ready to commit to any additional time at this point with everything going on – trying to work on his swing and other things.”
The announcement comes two weeks after Gillette said it would not renew its contract, which expired at the end of 2010. That brings to five the number of endorsements Woods has lost since he was caught in extramarital affairs. The other three are Accenture, AT&T and Gatorade.
Golf Digest put his column on hold last February while Woods took time off to sort out his personal life, resuming the column in September.
Woods’ last column will be in the February issue, an indication that both sides had been negotiating a new deal.
Other playing editors at Golf Digest include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson.
“I enjoyed my relationship with Golf Digest,” Woods said in a statement released by the magazine. “But we have decided it’s now time for a break. I wish my friends at Golf Digest continued success.”