NEW YORK (AP) — Nike Inc. will air a TV commercial Wednesday featuring Tiger Woods on the eve of his return to competitive golf, according to a published report.
Woods returns Thursday at the Masters after taking a leave of absence late last year after revelations of infidelities and a stint in rehab.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter that it did not name, reported the ad includes the voice of Woods' late father, Earl, talking about taking responsibility for one's actions. The newspaper said the ad will air on ESPN and the Golf Channel, two places ripe with possible buyers for Woods' line of golf products that Nike makes.
The Journal reported the advertisement is shot in black-and-white and has Woods looking directly into the camera, while his father speaks in the background: "I want to find out what your thinking was; I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything," Earl Woods says.
Nike declined to comment on its plans. And Wieden and Kennedy – an ad agency that often works with Nike – referred calls to Nike.
The sporting goods maker was one of a few sponsors to stick by Woods through the scandal that erupted late last year. Woods had been the sports world's biggest moneymaker and was the first $1 billion earner.
But he lost top endorsements from companies such as Accenture LLP and AT&T Inc. as the scandal unfolded. Other companies like Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette unit, didn't drop him outright, although it stopped featuring him in advertisements.
But companies more closely linked to his golf ability, such as Nike, memorabilia maker Upper Deck Co. and video game maker Electronic Arts Inc. stuck by him.
Experts say it will be a year or more before any major new companies sign Woods. Even then, it will depend on whether he can return to his winning ways.