Nike airs Tiger Woods TV ad on eve of Masters
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Nike Inc aired a television commercial on Wednesday featuring disgraced golf superstar Tiger Woods, his first new TV spot since a sex scandal prompted some sponsors to distance themselves from the tour legend.
The ad will run Wednesday and Thursday on the Golf Channel and Walt Disney Co's ESPN.
It will be Woods's first new TV commercial following startling revelations he had had a string of extramarital affairs.
Woods took nearly five months off from golf after the scandal came to light last year, but is making a highly anticipated return at the Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, starting Thursday.
A spokesman for Woods could not be reached to comment.
The black-and-white spot shows Woods looking directly into the camera while the voice of his late father Earl Woods, in an older recording, speaks in the background, asking "Tiger?".
"I want to find out what your thinking was, I want to find out what your feelings are, and did you learn anything?" his father asks. Tiger does not speak in the ad.
The ad ends with the image of a Nike swoosh.
"We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father," said Nike spokesman Derek Kent.
The ad was filmed several weeks ago at Isleworth Country Club, a golf course near Woods's Florida home.
Nike has been a strong backer of Woods, who earned $100 million annually from his endorsements before the scandal. Other supporters have been videogame publisher Electronic Arts and trading card and memorabilia company Upper Deck.
Some sponsors -- Accenture, AT&T and PepsiCo's Gatorade -- dumped him as a spokesman, while others like Procter & Gamble's Gillette have removed him from their marketing.
Woods said at a Monday news conference that he understood why some sponsors had dropped him and he hoped to show he would be profitable for those that remain.
"Hopefully I can prove to the other companies going forward that I am a worthy investment, that I can help their company grow," he said.
(Reporting by Alexandria Sage and Ben Klayman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
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