What: A new Nike ad celebrating the recent return to form of Tiger Woods, ahead of the 2018 Masters tournament.
Who: Nike, Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Why we care: The first time Tiger Woods got his very own green sport coat was 21 years ago. The 1997 Masters was Woods’s first major tournament win, and it put him on the path to becoming one of the most famous athletes of all time. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he’d been winning at every level and on TV swinging a golf club since he was practically in diapers–a fact this new ad illustrates with five-year-old Tiger atop Fran Tarkenton’s knee on ABC’s That’s Incredible!
We knew this was coming, right? With the improved results (thanks to a little spinal fusion surgery), the slightly improved public image (thanks to a lot of keeping pretty quiet), and the huge TV ratings boost his comeback has given the networks, a Nike ad for the sport’s most prestigious tournament seems inevitable. The spot harks back to Tiger’s glory days, then the signal gets interrupted, not with nagging injury or a hookers-on-a-plane PR disaster, but just a simple “Please Stand By” before we jump right up to the feel-good career reboot. In many ways, this ad is a perfect manifestation of many fans’ view of Woods, ignoring the flaws of the man, to celebrate and rebuild the myth.