Tiger Woods Formally A Billionaire, No Thanks To The Saudis

He reportedly turned down a “excessive 9 digits” deal to play on the brand new Saudi-backed golf tour, however regardless of. Because of endorsements and actual property, he’s a billionaire anyway.

Tiger Woods’ labored limp round Southern Hills throughout final month’s PGA Championship was a harsh reminder of how a lot time has handed since he stalked the fairways on the 1997 Masters en path to his first inexperienced jacket.

Triumph, harm, scandal, failure and triumph once more have stuffed the intervening years. However by means of all of it, the 46-year-old Woods has maintained his supremacy as one of many top-earning athletes on the planet, raking in over $1.7 billion in wage, endorsements and different revenue over the course of his 27-year profession—greater than anybody else Forbes has tracked.

Forbes now estimates his internet price to be a minimum of $1 billion, based mostly on his lifetime earnings, making him one in every of simply three identified athlete billionaires. The others are NBA famous person LeBron James, who has leveraged his fame and fortune by taking fairness stakes in quite a lot of companies, and Michael Jordan, who hit ten digits after he retired, because of a well-timed funding within the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

Woods has reached that rarified air regardless of reportedly turning down a “mind-blowingly huge” provide from the brand new Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, a deal that LIV CEO Greg Norman informed the Washington Submit would’ve been within the “excessive 9 digits.”

But so far, lower than 10% of Woods’ profession earnings, and internet price, comes from golf winnings. The majority of his fortune comes from huge endorsement offers with greater than a dozen manufacturers, together with Gatorade, Monster Power, TaylorMade, Rolex and Nike, with whom he signed in 1996 and which stays his largest backer.

“He hit the appropriate time in the appropriate sport, being an athlete with a various background who was approachable,” veteran sports activities enterprise guide and Columbia lecturer Joe Favorito says. “Manufacturers love realizing they’re getting somebody who’s embraced not simply by the standard but additionally by the informal followers.”



Woods has used his standing and earnings to broaden into an array of different ventures, which now embody a golf design enterprise (TGR Design), a dwell occasions manufacturing firm (TGR Reside) and a restaurant (The Woods). By means of TGR Ventures, Woods has taken stakes in Full Swing, a golf know-how coaching instrument; Heard, a hospitality software program startup; and PopStroke, a luxurious mini-golf expertise with 4 areas in Florida and plans to open a half-dozen extra areas throughout the nation in 2022. Woods can be recognized as a companion in a SPAC introduced in January, and he’s an investor alongside British billionaire Joe Lewis’ Tavistock Group, {golfing} rival Ernie Els and Justin Timberlake in NEXUS Luxurious Assortment, a gaggle of golf equipment and resorts.

“[He’s] been extraordinarily skillful in taking elements of companies, in creating their very own enterprise, in ways in which athletes earlier than them simply weren’t,” says legendary sports activities agent Leigh Steinberg, apparently the inspiration for Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry Maguire.

Steinberg would know. He nonetheless remembers negotiating the then-biggest rookie contract in soccer historical past in 1975—a deal that paid Atlanta Falcons quarterback Steve Bartkowski $600,000 over 4 years. Even adjusted for inflation, that’s solely about $800,000 yearly—lower than what dozens of NFL rookies made final yr.

What’s modified? In the beginning, the worth of dwell sports activities on tv. In a streaming world, virtually no different programming can nonetheless reliably generate a mass viewers. In 2011, 51 of the yr’s high 100 telecasts had been sporting occasions. Final yr, that quantity was 95 out of 100. The greenback dimension of TV contracts has soared, taking participant salaries— or within the case of golf, match prize cash—with them. Jack Nicklaus earned $5.7 million (lower than $40 million in in the present day’s {dollars}) over his four-decade enjoying profession, which started professionally in 1961. That’s lower than a 3rd of Woods’ 27-year inflation-adjusted haul.

Woods’ affect on golf’s TV scores, and purse sizes, can’t be overstated. Within the early 2000s, in accordance with former CBS president Neal Pilson, TV audiences would drop 30% to 50% when Woods was not in rivalry at a match. This so-called “Tiger Impact” contributed to PGA Tour winnings almost tripling between 1996 and 2008, a stretch during which Woods received 14 main championships. (He’s nonetheless a significant draw, however much less so as of late.)

“Tiger has been the instigator,” six-time main champion Phil Mickelson mentioned in a 2014 interview. “He’s been the one which’s actually propelled and pushed the bus as a result of he’s introduced elevated scores, elevated sponsors, elevated curiosity, and we’ve all benefited.”



At his peak, Woods was probably the most prolific athlete endorser in historical past, incomes north of $100 million per yr off the course. He held the No. 1 spot in Forbes’ highest-paid athletes checklist for ten consecutive years, ending in 2012. Not even his dramatic fall from grace after his 2009 Thanksgiving automobile crash derailed his earnings energy. During the last 12 months, regardless of hardly teeing up the ball whereas recovering from a severe automobile accident, Woods collected $68 million in off-course revenue, sufficient to make him the 14th-highest-paid athlete on the planet.

Seeing Woods combat by means of apparent ache has kindled a brand new sort of Tiger mania as followers, and sponsors, help him anew within the position of resilient survivor reasonably than invincible conqueror. Woods’ wealth is secured whether or not or not he ever swings a golf membership once more. But he has already introduced his dedication to play on this summer season’s Open Championship at St Andrews, and hasn’t dominated out his participation on this month’s U.S. Open Championship, regardless of withdrawing from the ultimate spherical of final month’s PGA Championship due to soreness in his surgically repaired legs and again.

“Initially he was a clean-cut position mannequin; he was somebody that epitomized the American dream,” says Steinberg. “In some methods, the struggles have solely added to his profile.”

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Tiger Woods joins athlete billionaire membership

Sun Jun 12 , 2022
Golfer Tiger Woods has joined basketball superstars Michael Jordan and LeBron James in a gaggle of athletes with a internet price of $1 billion, in response to enterprise journal Forbes. He’s one in all two lively athletes to attain billionaire standing together with four-times NBA champion and Los Angeles Lakers […]
Tiger Woods joins athlete billionaire membership