Tiger Woods Signs Rolex Endorsement Deal

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The arrangement with the watchmaker comes after a slew of sponsors, such as AT&T, Tag Heuer and Gillette, ended their relationships with the golfer following an infidelity scandal.

NEW YORK - After losing a slew of endorsement deals following an infidelity scandal and a form low, golfer Tiger Woods has signed a new such deal with watchmaker Rolex in a potential sign that he may be starting to turn the tide on the sponsorship front.

It is his first major deal since his sex scandal.

The endorsement deal, reported by the Wall Street Journal, was promoted on the company's Web site as of early Wednesday evening where Rolex said Woods was joining "the family of Rolex ambassadors" who are chosen for talent, perseverance and passion for the sport.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the Journal said experts believe Rolex got the Woods deal at a discount.

AT&T, Accenture, Gillette and watchmaker Tag Heuer are among the brands that have previously ended their endorsement relationships with Woods.

Before the scandal, the golfer made around $90 million a year from his promotional deals and ranked as the most powerful endorsement figure in sports, according to the Journal.

Under the headline "Rolex and Tiger Woods: A Partnership for a New Challenge," the watch company explained the new relationship this way on its Web site: "This association pays tribute to the exceptional stature of Tiger Woods and the leading role he plays in forging the sport's global appeal. It also constitutes a joint commitment to the future."

The company added: "Rolex is convinced that Tiger Woods still has a long career ahead of him and that he has all the qualities required to continue to mark the history of hold. The brand is committed to accompanying him in his new challenges."

The Journal said that earlier this year, Woods signed with a small Japanese company to endorse a muscle pain heat rub, and he is working on a deal to replace the AT&T logo that used to be seen on his golf bag with a smaller company.

The news comes on the eve of Woods’ return to competitive golf at the Frys.com Open outside San Jose, Calif. The injury-plagued Woods never plays this late in the season on the PGA Tour, but he needs a tune-up to get ready for the Presidents Cup in November.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai