Beleagured US carmaker General Motors, facing desperate times in a troubled economy, has ended its endorsement deal with 14-time major golf champion Tiger Woods.
The sponsorship contract, believed to pay Woods 12 million dollars a year, was due to expire at the end of 2009 but instead will conclude at the end of the year under mutual agreement between GM and the global golf star.
GM has sought 45 billion dollars in loans from the US government to avoid a shutdown that would cost thousands of jobs at its factories and related auto part manufacturing plants.
Woods has been featured in advertisements for GM products worldwide, notably the Buick automobile brand in China, Canada and the United States, and has played in many US PGA Tour events sponsored by the auto brand.
Woods, who needs four more major titles to match Jack Nicklaus atop the all-time list, is not certain when he will return to action after missing the past six months to let a knee heal.
Woods has carried the Buick brand on his golf bag since 1999... the only other sponsor logo seen around his clubs since he turned professional in 1996 has been that of another major sponsor, Titleist.