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SBD Global/November 1, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Rory McIlroy Moves Closer To Nike Deal Believed To Be Worth Up To $250M

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy "appears set to cross the threshold into the realms of the best-paid athletes in global professional sport if Nike follows through on speculation" that it is poised to offer the 23-year-old a 10-year deal believed to be worth up to $250M, according to John O'Sullivan of the IRISH TIMES. The Nike connection "appears much closer to fruition" despite Nike spokesperson Beth Gast pointing out: "We are declining comment on rumours and speculation." McIlroy "is a sponsor’s dream, and for Nike he would be a clean-cut, globally popular figure who would offer a welcome contrast in helping Nike distance itself from the damage done by the Lance Armstrong scandal" and the subsequent cancelation of his contract with the company. It would give Nike the two biggest golfing stars in McIlroy and Tiger Woods (IRISH TIMES, 10/31). In Dublin, Mark Garrod reported that six-time major winner Nick Faldo called the potential move "dangerous." Faldo said, "I've changed clubs and changed equipment and every manufacturer will say 'We can copy your clubs, we can tweak the golf ball so it fits you.' But there's feel and sound as well and there's confidence. You can't put a real value on that -- it's priceless" (INDEPENDENT, 10/31).
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