Tiger’s back, and Nike’s (still) got him

Sunday afternoon saw another extraordinary chapter in the long relationship between Nike and Tiger Woods. Within minutes of Woods claiming his fifth Masters title—and his first since 2005—the athletics company posted a new ad on social media called “Tiger Woods: Same Dream.”

The spot from Wieden + Kennedy opens on a closeup of Woods accompanied by the super “It’s crazy…” then working backwards through his career, highlighting  various victories and disappointments.

The accompanying super reads “…to think a 43-year-old who has experienced every high and every low, and has just won his 15th major, is chasing the same dream as a 3-year-old,” before concluding with video of Woods as a child, vowing “I’m gonna beat Jack Nicklaus.”

Sunday’s win at Augusta National in Georgia marked the 15th major title of Woods’ career, putting him just three behind Nicklaus on the all-time list.

Nike and Woods have enjoyed an extraordinarily fruitful relationship over the years, from his first spot “I am Tiger Woods,” to the legendary shot from the rough in the 2005 Masters all the way up to last year’s “Welcome Back” to the Masters.

Social media lit up in the immediate aftermath of Woods’ victory, with everyone from Tom Brady to Serena Williams and Steph Curry all sending congratulatory tweets. Non-sports tweets came from former U.S. president Barack Obama and, naturally, the mayor of Twitter himself, Donald Trump.

Nike has stuck by Woods over a tumultuous decade that has seen the former world number one embroiled in a series of scandals including a DUI arrest in 2017 and a 2009 sex scandal that led several brands, including Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture and Tag Heuer, to terminate their sponsorship agreements.

Woods had fallen out of the top 1,000 in the world rankings as recently as 2017, but there is nothing marketers like more than a good old-fashioned redemption story.

Chris Powell