The 15-time major champ is the new face and executive director of 2K Sports’ golf franchise.
After an eight-year hiatus, Tiger Woods is back as the face of golf video games. This week, he struck an exclusive multi-year partnership with publisher 2K Sports, maker of the PGA TOUR 2K franchise. As part of the big news, 2K also announced the acquisition of golf game developer HB Studios.
Woods initially broke into the gaming world when he signed a name and likeness deal with EA Sports in 1997 for their own PGA Tour series. Woods became the cover athlete for the game in 1998 and stayed front and center for each year until 2013.
After being seriously injured in a car accident in late February, Woods is expected to make a full recovery.
In addition to being the cover athlete, the 15-time major champion will also serve as an executive director of the PGA TOUR 2K Series. “I am looking forward to making my return to the video game landscape, and with 2K and HB Studios, I’ve found the right partners to make it happen,” Woods said.
“We are thrilled to team up with Tiger and HB Studios to focus on the longevity of the PGA TOUR 2K franchise and creating the ultimate golf experience,” a 2K spokesperson told Boardroom Breakers. “Like the rest of the world, we were saddened to hear of the accident, and we wish Tiger a full and smooth recovery.”
“Nobody in the world knows the game of golf like Tiger Woods and his role as Executive Director will leverage his experience and insights as one of the most iconic legends of the sport. We look forward to him taking on that role as soon as he’s ready,” they said.
Woods currently has endorsement deals with companies like Upper Deck and Taylor Made that have earned him more than $60 million over the past two years. The 2K Sports announcement is the latest reminder that the 2019 Masters champ remains a brand unto himself.
There was some open real estate to claim in the golf video game space when EA Sports abandoned its Rory McIlroy-branded PGA Tour series in 2015. Take-Two Interactive Software enjoyed some success with its PGA Tour 2K21 game, which features newly-minted TPC champ Justin Thomas on the cover; the company previously announced in its quarterly conference that it had sold more than two million units.
But it’s clear who the biggest, most famous name in the sport is:
Who it always has been.