Tiger partnership elevates GolfTV with Instruction, Personal Insight

Two weeks after he won the 2019 Masters, it was hardly a surprise that GolfTV nabbed Tiger Woods’ first sit-down interview. After all, just five months earlier, Woods signed an exclusive deal with the Discovery-owned streaming service that was envisioned for moments like his Masters win.

What was a surprise, however, was how open, reflective and, frankly, relaxed the normally reclusive golfer was during that interview with Henni Koyack. Woods spoke comfortably about everything from his thoughts during the Masters final round

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to his family’s reaction to his win.

“Tiger opened up in a way that you haven’t seen — just the emotion of winning and what it meant to him,” said Alex Kaplan, president and general manager of Discovery Golf Group.

Though the interview was more than a year ago, it offered a glimpse into part of Woods’ media strategy — one that will continue this week with the launch of the second season of his instruction series “My Game.” In the U.S., the series will be available for free via the Golf Digest Schools app that also launches this week.

“We’re in Year 2 of what is going to be many in our opinion,” said Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg.

Being part of programs like “My Game” and participating in wide-ranging interviews is a way to show a softer and, in many ways, a more genuine side of Woods.

Initially, Woods was skeptical about being so open with his personality that he had to be talked into doing this type of content deal with Discovery, Steinberg said. Woods had been part of programming initiatives in the past, mainly with some of his sponsors, including Rolex, Monster Energy and Nike, but those efforts were designed to sell products.

“This was really the first ever true content deal that Tiger’s done,” Steinberg said. “When he was younger, I think he was worried about sharing too much. He thought that he would lose a little bit of his competitive advantage. Like most people as they get older, he’s overcome that. I think he wants to engage with more people.”

For Steinberg, this type of deal sets Woods up for life when he retires from playing.

“He knows he’s not going to play forever,” Steinberg said. “He can do this well past when he decides to hang it up. He can still do instruction. He can still connect with fans all over the world. He can still help with all the shoulder programming that GolfTV wants to do internationally.”

The “My Game” series is positioned as more than just an instructional video series. Discovery filmed the series during the pandemic in June — COVID-19 production-safety protocols were in place.

During the series, Woods explains how he thinks through different shots on the course. Steinberg said Woods has gained a level of comfort with the Discovery producers and directors that will make sure he is around for many more seasons.

Discovery signed a sponsor deal with Dick’s Sporting Goods around the Golf Digest Schools app that will host Woods’ “My Game” series. Discovery will give Dick’s “ScoreRewards” members one year of free access to Golf Digest Schools and Golf Digest’s digital offering.

“We’re going to be able to introduce the Tiger content and this whole instruction business that we’re building digitally to Dick’s customers,” Kaplan said. “We’re ecstatic about this.”