GOLF

Gatorade Unveils a Taste of Tiger

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tiger Woods will have his own brand of sports drink next year under an endorsement deal announced yesterday with Gatorade that marks a couple of firsts for the world's No. 1 golfer -- his first U.S. deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement.

Gatorade said it will introduce Gatorade Tiger in March, with more products to follow. Woods even picked out the flavors, with the drink available in a cherry blend, citrus blend and grape.

Terms were not disclosed, although Golfweek magazine reported last month it was for five years and could pay Woods as much as $100 million, moving him closer to $1 billion in endorsements.

"There have been some licensing elements to things we've done," said Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG. "But everything he does with Gatorade is going to be creating new products. It's something Tiger and I and our licensing business have been looking at for some time."

The deal has been in the works since the summer, and Golfweek reported earlier that it came down to Gatorade and VitaminWater. It became obvious who won when Woods began drinking from Gatorade bottles the final month of the season, even when the Gatorade product wasn't available at certain tournaments.

"Gatorade has been part of my game plan for years, whether I'm training or competing, so this is an ideal match," Woods said in a statement. "I'm eager to launch my first signature product in a few months and look forward to developing additional sports performance beverages with Gatorade in the coming years."

Woods, with 61 victories on the PGA Tour and 13 major championships, joins a stable of star athletes at Gatorade -- Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning and Mia Hamm. None of those athletes has licensing deals, which also is a first for Gatorade.

-- From News Services


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