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SBD Global/October 22, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Rory McIlroy Could Join Nike In '13 After His Contract With Titleist Expires

Golfer Rory McIlroy could be in line for a new deal from Nike.
Rory McIlroy "could be in line to sign a massive deal with Nike when his current contract with Titleist/Footjoy expires at the end of the year," according to the IRISH TIMES. Such a deal "could be worth up to $250M over 10 years, which is similar to Tiger Woods’ current deal with Nike." McIlroy's U.S. Open victory last year sparked speculations that he could rival Woods as "a money-making machine on and off the course." He could earn "$1B from the sport." The 23-year-old from County Down, Northern Ireland "has long been considered a sponsor's dream -- clean cut, articulate and immensely popular worldwide." Sources insisted that the move to Nike "will become a reality when the Titleist/Footjoy deal expires." With Woods as the undisputed face of Nike, "it remains to be seen what will happen next and whether or not McIlroy is being groomed to take over from Woods" as the face of what Forbes recently called "the most-valuable sports brand in the world, worth $15.9B." When asked for comment earlier this week, McIlroy 's agent, Conor Ridge of Horizon Sports Management, "did not immediately move to quench speculation that his top client was about to leave Titleist for Nike." Ridge said in a statement, "As you are aware, Rory is under contract with Titleist. It is our policy not to pass comment regarding any industry speculation related to any of our players" (IRISH TIMES, 10/20).
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