You won't see Tiger Woods advertising his Masters Collection of Nike products at Augusta next week, but the world's largest shoe and apparel company, and the retailers it sold its gear to, will still be selling what the golfer would have worn.
With so many eyeballs on Woods during the majors, Nike typically produces and sells to stores what he will wear six to eight months in advance, so his announcement on Tuesday that he would miss the tournament after having back surgery came too late in the process to change that.
Nike is selling the pink, orange, green and red shirts Woods was scheduled to wear at Augusta on its website for between $85 and $95. Limited edition TW '14 shoes with a green swoosh, like the ones Tiger would have worn, went on sale on Nike.com on March 27 and are selling in some stores for $220.
"Tiger being out will have a major impact for us," said Dennis Boudreau, owner of DiscountGolfWorld.com, which says it's one of the largest retailers of Woods-branded apparel. "People buy what they see on TV, and with the Tiger stuff, they don't buy just one. They buy four or five shirts. If they don't see it, they can't fall in love with it."
Last year, Boudreau said he sold thousands of yellow shirts like the one that Woods wore for the second round of the Masters, when he had his controversial drop. Boudreau was particularly excited this year about the Sunday red with black lines that Woods was scheduled to wear if he made the cut.
"We bought quite a large quantity," Boudreau said.
Boudreau said his Woods shirts won't be discounted, and the time it takes to sell all his Masters inventory will depend on how long it takes for the world's No. 1 player to be back.
"If he had played in the Masters, we expected to sell out of everything by the time the tournament teed off," Boudreau said.
Nike does not take back inventory it has already sold to retailers.
Woods last won a major at the 2008 U.S. Open. Despite being injured in recent years, he hasn't missed a Masters since he started playing the tournament in 1995.