NEW YORK (
) -- Nike has been vocal about its support for
in its sponsorship deal, even as Tiger attempts to weather the media storm that has descended on his personal debacles.
But on Monday,
(NKE - Get Report)
chairman and co-founder Phil Knight took the company's fervent support for the legendary golfer to a whole new level when he said that history will barely register Tiger Woods' infidelities when it looks back at his career.
Knight says that Woods-type scandals hasn't changed Nike's athlete-focused branding strategies. It's all "part of the game," he explains.
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"When his career is over, you'll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip, but the media is making a big deal out of it right now," Knight tells
in an interview. In fact, Knight still maintains that Woods' character has been exceptional, even as disappointed fans and sponsors continue to digest in disbelief the mounting revelations of his philandering ways.
"Obviously, he was one we checked out and he came out clean, and I think he's been really great," Knight tells
For Knight, building a brand around athletes always carries a certain risk that even the careful vetting of character can't prevent, but Woods has continued to impress him.