New Tiger Woods Apparel, Shoe Line 'Sun Day Red' Debuts

Tiger Woods is out promoting his new clothing line: Sun Day Red, appearing on programs like the Today Show. Meanwhile, CEO of TaylorMade, David Abeles is out visiting with business reporters.
Tiger Woods - The Masters
Tiger Woods - The Masters / Andrew Redington/GettyImages

Abeles explained the ins and outs of it to Tyler Mathisen and Dom Chu on CNBC. Sun Day Red, according to Abeles, is a partnership and a subsidiary of TaylorMade Golf, and Woods is a part owner of that part of the company.   

TaylorMade is the golf equipment company that Tiger Woods uses.

For Woods, having a new clothing deal is a big change since he has had just one, Nike, since he turned pro. In fact, Phil Knight may have missed the boat by not creating a specific Tiger Woods line for golf. There were TW logoed hats later in the deal. But it was always the swoosh first and foremost.

Woods was with Nike for 27 years, thanks to an unheard of at the time 5-year, $40 million golf apparel and shoe contract, created for him by Hughes Norton (and the explanation of that is in Norton’s new book, Rainmaker) that took effect as soon as Woods became a professional in 1996. Last December, the final extension of the contract expired. Last January Woods and TaylorMade became “partners” in the golf clothing business.  

When asked why the decision came for the equipment and ball company to dive more into clothing, Abeles simply said “Why not?”

At one time TaylorMade was owned by Adidas, which created clothing for golfers who were under contract at the time.

In addition, Adidas owned Ashworth Golf, a clothing company.  But in 2016, Adidas decided to sell the TaylorMade portion, as reported in Forbes. And then TaylorMade sold Ashworth.

“We have three specific businesses,” Abeles detailed about today’s TaylorMade.

"One you know well.  We have an equipment and golf ball business, which is a core and legacy business and doing very, very well in the global marketplace. We’ve got an investment in entertainment in a concept with Tiger Woods in PopStroke Entertainment. "

PopStroke is 36-holes of synthetic grass putting.

“Sun Day Red is an apparel and footwear brand,” Abeles explained. “We’ve been working down multiple pathways to get into the apparel and footwear business.”

TaylorMade looked at other ways to get back into the apparel category, but until settling on a deal with Woods, they didn’t have one that worked worldwide. Talks started with the Woods team about a year ago and grew from there.

Tiger Woods hooked up with TaylorMade in equipment in 2016; once Nike exited the golf equipment business.

“This was a very, very clear synergy for us,” Abeles said about involving Woods in the clothing and shoe categories.

The company, founded originally by Gary Adams of McHenry, Illinois, is privately owned.

The TaylorMade holding company owns the Tiger Woods Sun Day Red brands, as a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of TaylorMade, according to Abeles. Woods is “partnered” in the subsidiary.

“Sun Day Red is not based in Carlsbad, California,” Abeles added. “It’s based north of us in San Clemente. So, we can leverage the talent in apparel and footwear, fashion and design out of Orange County and Los Angeles.”  

TaylorMade’s golf team is in Carlsbad. It has separate management and products teams.

Abeles said that post-COVID, TaylorMade is up 40% in equipment sales and 19% in apparel and footwear. That’s without the Tiger Woods apparel line.

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“We are bullish on the state of the industry right now,” he said.