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Tiger Woods Gets New Sponsor

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SYDNEY (AP) — Tiger Woods has another corporate endorsement, this one to fill the void on his golf bag.

In a deal announced Thursday, Woods signed an exclusive endorsement deal with Fuse Science, Inc., a Florida-based sports nutrition company. This comes five weeks after the 14-time major champion became an endorsement ambassador for Rolex.

The significance of his deal with Fuel Science is that it finally gives Woods an endorsement for his golf bag. Behind his Nike TW hat, the bag is the biggest billboard for Woods for as much TV times that he gets at golf tournaments.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Woods will not display the company on his bag, however, until the Chevron World Challenge that starts Dec. 1 in California. He is playing the Australian Open this week, then goes to the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, where corporate endorsements for players give way to team uniforms for the week.

Woods has not had an endorsement on his bag since AT&T dropped him nearly two years ago when he was exposed for having multiple extramarital affairs. He had his name and the TW logo on his bag when he returned at the 2010 Masters, and has kept that since.

Fuse has a short history with athletes returning from a downfall. It signed a five-year deal with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick when he returned from serving a federal sentence for dog fighting. The deal was canceled about a week later when the company discovered that Vick also had signed a deal with another sports nutrition company.

Over the last two months, Fuse Science also has signed endorsement contracts with Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber and Houston Texans running back Arian Foster.

Woods, who opened with a 68 at the Australian Open, was playing his second round at The Lakes. He said in a press release announcing the deal that the company’s nutrition technology will be a “game-changer in how we live our lives every day.”

“This company is laying the foundation for some very significant things,” Woods said.

Woods had lost endorsement deals with AT&T, Accenture, Tag Heuer, Gatorade and Gillette since the crash in his personal life. Two of the three new deals he has signed since July are related to health products. Woods also has a deal with a Japanese company that makes a heat rub product. The market for that deal is mainly in Asia.

“This is a very big day for our company,” president and chief operating officer Brian Tuffin said in a release. “Our partnership with the world’s best is an enabler to have a worldwide impact sooner than later. Tiger recognizes the significance of the journey we’re on as a company, and wants to be part of our growth.”

Woods will represent the Fuse Science technology, intellectual property, unique delivery system, and future products to be developed in the sports nutrition and energy categories.

Woods has gone two years without winning and has dropped to No. 58 in the world, his lowest since he turned pro in 1996 at age 20. He missed most of the summer this year with recurring injuries to his left leg, though he said those are fully healed.

“There is not an ounce of doubt that there is much more excellence to come,” Tuffin said, “and we’re glad being ‘Powered by Fuse’ can be a part of it.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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