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Tiger's new deal biggest in years

WINDERMERE, Fla. -- Tiger Woods' sponsorship deal with Hero MotoCorp is his biggest new endorsement contract in five years and is expected to pay the golfer $6 million to $8 million annually.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, would not disclose exact figures Wednesday but said media reports out of India, where Hero is based, that put the number at $8 million per year were "in the ballpark."

Steinberg said the deal is for four years and does not include a stipulation that Woods play in the India Open. Woods also will not have the company's logo on his golf bag or his shirt.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Hero would take on the title sponsorship role of Woods' annual fundraising event, the World Challenge, which this year has moved to Isleworth, near Orlando.

The personal deal with Woods was announced Tuesday.

"I believe he is going to add a huge amount of value to the brand Hero, which clearly is going global in its intent and with its product brand," said Pawan Munjal, the vice chairman, CEO and managing director of Hero, who played with Woods in the pro-am Wednesday.

The company is huge in India, with sales of 6.3 million motorcycles and scooters in 2013-14. Munjal said the company plans an expansion into Europe in 2015 and the United States in 2016.

"Taking the brand out there into new markets where Hero is not a known brand, we believe that Tiger's brand, Tiger's recognition, Tiger's attributes will also lift and make the brand as recognizable as Tiger," Munjal said.

That, despite Woods joking Tuesday, during photo opportunities with him seated on a motorcycle, that he's never ridden one and "I don't plan to start now."

Munjal would not comment on the India reports but told Forbes, "It is Tiger Woods after all."

Woods' biggest endorser remains Nike, which he has been with since he turned pro in 1996. Woods signed a new deal with Nike in 2013 that was believed to be paying him in excess of $20 million per year.

The latest deal with Hero is his biggest new endorsement since losing several sponsors in the wake of his 2009-10 personal issues that kept him from the game for several months. Accenture and AT&T were among the companies to cut ties, and he has parted ways in recent years with EA Sports.

In addition to Nike and Hero, Woods also represents Rolex, NetJets, MusclePharm and Kowa, a Japanese company.

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