Tiger Woods lands endorsement deal for Japanese heat rub (Video)


This image provided by IMG shows Tiger Woods promoting a Japanese pain reliever, his first endorsement since a 2009 sex scandal. (AP)

Check out Tiger’s new commercial.

It was not long ago that Tiger Woods was widely considered the best athlete on the planet — and his bevy of endorsement deals reinforced that belief.

From Ga­tor­ade and Pepsi to AT&T and Gillette, major companies lined up to get the face of the best golfer in the world on the same screen as their product.

That all changed in 2009 when a globally-publicized sex scandal ravaged Woods’ reputation and his swing. Now Woods is on the comeback trail both on and off the course, starting where all public image reconstructions begin — in Japan.

The product Tiger is now pimping? A heat rub, of all things..

In this Japanese TV commercial that began running on July 1, Woods swings a driver and then poses with the product — Vantelin Kowa rub. He’s then shown massaging it into his back.

In the fallout from his sex scandal and resulting divorce, Woods lost an estimated annual $35 million in cancelled endorsements. Still, the former top golfer in the world was far and away the highest earning athlete in the world in 2010, despite his very un-Tiger-like performances on the course during that same span. (Here’s a timeline of Tiger’s fall from grace .)

No word yet on whether the ads will run during Japanese television coverage of next week’s British Open, from which the injured Woods will be noticeably absent.

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