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Nike to Market Clubs Without Tiger Woods

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nike (NKE) will be launching and promoting new golf clubs in January without the help of Tiger Woods, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper reports that Nike's efforts to promote the new golf clubs without Woods will be a challenge, given that the company has built a solid business around the golfing superstar's image.

Nike says that all 13 U.S. golf champions who promote the company's golf products provided input for the Victory Red STR8-FIT Tour fairway woods design, according to Journal. However, Woods isn't mentioned in any of the promotional materials for the golf clubs, even though their name was inspired by Woods' tradition of wearing red shirts on the final day of golf tournaments.

The promotional materials instead emphasize that the golf clubs were tested by the steady, albeit far-less-famous professional golfer Lucas Glover in tournaments, according to WSJ. Glover won the U.S. Open Championship last year in his first major victory.

For Nike, Woods couldn't have picked a worse time to take a hiatus from professional golf. Woods is taking a break to deal with his marital problems just as Nike struggles with shrinking golf sales after taking a major hit in revenue during the recession. Nike needs more than ever to capitalize on Woods' marketing power right now.

The golf clubs will debut for sale on January 28 for $299.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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