Nike Inc. (NKE) shares were indicated lower in premarket trading following the arrest of one of its most famous celebrity endorsers, Tiger Woods, on suspicion of driving under the influence late Monday in Florida.
Woods was arrested by Palm Beach County Police near his home in Jupiter at around 3am local time, according to law enforcement reports, and released on his own recognizance a few hours later.
"I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions," Woods said in a statement. "I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly."
"I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again," Woods added.
The 14-time Major winner, whose 72 tournament victories place him second on the all-time PGA Tour list, has been a client of Nike since inking a five-year, $40 million endorsement deal during a now iconic "Hello, world" press conference in 1996. Nike introduced its first line of golf balls in 1998 and ultimately re-signed Woods to a $100 million contract extension in 2001 -- and again in 2006 -- after he had won 12 majors and his recorded 54 PGA tour wins.
Woods' last extension with Nike was signed for an undisclosed amount in 2013, despite the now infamous incident outside his home on Thanksgiving in 2009 that ultimately led to the break up of his marriage and revelations of several affairs and personal indiscretions.
"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Tiger," said Nike Gold president Cindy Davis at the time. "He is one of Nike's most iconic athletes and has played an integral part in Nike Golf's growth since the very beginning. We look forward to sharing many more of the exciting awe-inspiring sport moments that Tiger is known to create in golf."
However, Nike dropped out of the golf equipment game last year, after revenues fell to 8.2% $706 million, saying it was "committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel ... athletes like Tiger (Woods), Rory (McIlroy) and Michelle (Wie) drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide."
Nike shares were trading 0.84% lower in premarket dealing, indicating an opening price of $51.15 per share against a broadly flat expectation for the S&P 500. Nike shares have gained around 3.46% so far this year compared to the 17.62% advance for its sportswear rival, Adidas AG (ADDYY) of Germany.