Tiger Woods has turned down a lucrative $75 million sponsorship deal with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. The golfing legend has lost several of his big-name sponsors, but the world number one will not be grabbing the Paddy Power offer.
Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at IMG, has denied they are in negotiation. "We're not involved in any discussions to add to his sponsorship portfolio at this time," he said. Earlier, the bookmaking chain had confirmed that they were seeking to bring Woods on board.
"We're in negotiations with IMG to sponsor Tiger," a spokesman for the company, also called Paddy Power, told US magazine website 'Golfweek.' "It's still in the early stage of the negotiations, really, to be honest with you. But if it all comes off, it'll be the biggest sponsorship deal we've done by quite some way. At this stage, when other sponsors seem to be ditching him, there's an opportunity there to step in," the bookmaker said. "He's still somebody we would very much like to align ourselves to."
Woods has been struggling and has lost major sponsorships since the breakup with his wife Elin and subsequent stories about his numerous affairs.
The sponsorship would have started out with an upfront payment of $5 million then extra payments each year if he won tournaments.
A big stumbling block would be that the PGA policy that forbids players from being involved with gambling sites.
"That would make us pause in regards to our regulations," said Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour's executive vice president. "It would be problematic."
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore