Things heat up for Tiger Woods in Japan

While Tiger Woods is battling ongoing injury concerns, life off the course is showing signs of recovery with the announcement of a new TV commercial, the first since news of his sex scandal broke in late 2009.

The world number 17 appears in a 15-second TV commercial for Vantelin Kowa, a Japanese heat-rub medication.

The company struck a three-year deal with the former world number one, which will include television, print and Internet ads for the Japanese domestic market only.

“When looking for a person for a new TV commercial for the Vantelin Kowa series, Kowa determined that Tiger Woods, with his No. 1 accomplishment as a golfer and his overwhelming presence, matches the promotional direction of the Vantelin Kowa series,” Kowa Company said in a press release.

It is Woods’ first sponsorship contract with a Japanese company since Asahi Soft Drinks in 1997, which came shortly after beginning his professional career. That deal was rumoured to be worth an estimated ¥900 million.

Woods has not played since mid-May, when he was forced to withdraw from The Players Championship with knee and Achilles injuries. In a press conference last week, Woods was adamant that he will not return to tournament golf until he is fully fit.