Tiger Woods and Nike have a long working relationship and are closing in on a huge new endorsement deal that will keep Woods as the highest-paid golfer on the planet.
Bob Harig of ESPN.com reported on this developing story, citing Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, who says it will "emphatically" make him the highest-paid endorser in golf:
[W]e're down to the very, very short strokes right now … I would expect we would come out with some sort of joint announcement when we get the paperwork signed. I hope this is viewed as a pretty bold statement.
Harig goes on to report that the deal could be completed before the 2013 U.S. Open, which begins on June 13.
Woods is once again atop the golf world, having won four titles in 2013 after an extended period of time in which his game (and his personal life) was far from perfect.
After his highly publicized divorce, which stemmed from multiple infidelities, Woods' golf game suffered a huge setback. He was a shell of his former dominant self and failed to win a single tournament between 2010 and 2011.
Last year, Woods started to look like himself again (he won three tournaments), and this year he's clearly back as the top golfer on the PGA Tour—his poor showing at the Memorial Championship notwithstanding.
Woods' popularity took a hit after his downfall, partly due to the negativity surrounding what he did to his family and partly due to his generally poor play.
But now that Woods is back on the winning track, fans are flocking to the tournaments and to their television sets to watch him play.
When he's on his game, Woods is spectacular to watch. He's also one of the most bankable endorsers on the planet, which is likely why he's now about to receive a mega deal from one of the world's largest sports manufacturers.
Right now, Woods is a phoenix rising from the ashes, and Nike wants to take full advantage of its most prestigious star.
Now, all Woods needs to do to get back to where he was is win a major championship. Next stop, Merion Golf Club on June 13.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!