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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Tiger Says He ‘Doesn’t Want’ Iconic ‘TW’ Logo. Could He Get It Back?

  • Tiger Woods is not using his iconic “TW” logo as part of his new brand.
  • Last month, the golfer split from Nike, which helped make the logo famous.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Walk into any golf pro shop or just watch a Masters highlight reel on YouTube, and you’ll be sure to come across the iconic “TW” logo that Tiger Woods made famous with Nike. But that moniker was nowhere to be found when Woods unveiled his new TaylorMade-backed brand, Sun Day Red, which sports a brush-drawn tiger logo.

“I don’t want it back; I’ve moved on,” Woods said when asked about the logo at this week’s Genesis Invitational, where he is making his return to the PGA Tour. That was interesting phrasing by Woods, whose company ETW Corp owns the “TW” logo, according to filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben, the founder of Gerben IP, tells Front Office Sports that there are likely practical and legal issues at play. Woods could just want to start over with new branding, but it may also be out of his hands. “You could see where Nike would have issues in how much time and effort and money they spent creating the brand awareness,” Gerben says. Contractual details from Nike’s endorsement deal with Woods could be preventing any further use of the logo.

When tennis legend Roger Federer split from Nike, it took him two years to obtain the rights to his “RF” logo, which he now uses on merchandise from Uniqlo. Clippers star Kawhi Leonard wasn’t as fortunate, ultimately losing a lawsuit over the copyright for his Klaw logo, after he left Nike for New Balance. “There’s definitely this history of Nike saying, wait a second, you all can’t just walk out the door with all the value we helped you create,” says Gerben.

Without seeing the details of Nike’s contract with Woods, it’s impossible to know whether the golfer could ever be allowed to use the “TW” logo again, according to Gerben. Sun Day Red merchandise doesn’t go on sale to the public until May 1, but on Thursday, a search on Nike’s website showed 18 items still available for purchase under the Tiger Woods Collection.

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