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Tiger Woods Nears $1 Billion Mark with Namesake Gatorade Drink

iger Woods will have his own brand of sports drink next year under an endorsement deal announced Tuesday 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 himself, with the drink available in a cherry blend, citrus blend and grape.

     Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Golfweek magazine reported last month it was for five years and could pay Woods as much as $100 million (euro70.7 million), moving him closer to the $1 billion (euro710 million) mark in career endorsements.

     ``There have been some licensing elements to things we've done,'' said Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG, who cited video games produced by EA Sports as an example. ``But everything he does with Gatorade is going to be creating new products. It's something Tiger and I and our licensing business has been looking at for some time.''

     Woods has endorsed everything from sports equipment and apparel (Nike) to financial services (Accenture) to automobiles (General Motors' Buick) to shaving products (Gillette). His first beverage deal comes after 11 years as a professional.

     ``We wanted to get away from a straight endorsement deal in the beverage category,'' Steinberg said. ``We thought this would be the best fit for his first licensing deal. It's authentic to what Tiger does every day, as hard as he works out every day.''

     Woods previously had an endorsement deal with Asahi Coffee in Japan.

     The Gillette endorsement features a television commercial with Roger Federer and Thierry Henry.

     Tiger Woods is half Thai on his mother's side. His African American father died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 74.


Tue October 16, 2007 18:52 EDT
DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer TUCKER'S TOWN, Bermuda

Tiger Woods will have his own brand of sports drink next year under an endorsement deal announced Tuesday 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. (AP Photo/Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press, File)





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