Nike welcomes Tiger Woods back to the Masters with ad featuring his greatest hits

Tiger Woods of the U.S. slaps hands with patrons as he walks to the 8th tee during practice for the 2018 Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 2, 2018.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Golf star Tiger Woods returned to the PGA's Masters tournament in Augusta this week after a three-year break and longtime sponsor Nike has welcomed him back with an ad showing his career highlights.

From his earliest appearances as a child on TV to being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and a clip from a well-known golf ball juggle ad, the 60-second spot shows a montage of his best moments.

It also shows a piece of golf history: the 2005 Masters when he pitched his ball 25 feet left of the hole in a shot that showed Nike's famous logo right by the hole for almost two seconds before going in.

Woods hasn't competed in the Masters since 2015 due to four back surgeries, and while he received a standing ovation while practicing Thursday, his performance was rather disappointing, settling for a one-over.

Nike has stuck by Woods through the 2009 expose of his extramarital affairs, when other sponsors such as Gatorade, AT&T and General Motors cancelled their contracts. The company also stayed with him when he was charged with driving under the influence when he was found asleep behind the wheel of his car.

Woods has won the Masters tournament four times, and his endorsement contracts are thought to be worth about $90 million a year. TV stations and sponsors are likely to cash in with his return: During the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods received 580 minutes of brand exposure, according to measurement company Nielsen.

And he doesn't even need to be inside the top five finishers for TV networks and sponsors to get maximum value. Network viewership increased 93 percent or by about 2 million more viewers on average during the first four events this season that Woods finished inside the top 25, Nielsen said.

Jessica Golden contributed to this report.