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SBD Global/January 17, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Seeing Red: Color Of McIlroy's Shirts On Sunday Could Say A Lot About New Nike Deal

The size of the "shadow” Rory McIlroy has cast over Tiger Woods since the announcement that McIlroy has joined the Nike Golf roster “will be revealed in Abu Dhabi on Sunday should the company’s new signing opt for a red shirt,” according to Kevin Garside of the London INDEPENDENT. Red is the “power colour that Woods made his own during the years of plunder.” Nike issues its clients “four shirts for the week and it is understood that only one player is allowed to make red his Sunday best if Woods is in the field.” But McIlroy “claimed to be ignorant of any stipulation and said that he didn’t care what colour he wore on Sundays.” McIlroy said, “I’ve worn red before. I’m not saying that is the colour I want to play in on the last day. I’d rather just wear something that goes with green” (INDEPENDENT, 1/15). McIlroy occasionally wore red shirts during the final round of tournaments, notably during last year's PGA Championship, which he won by eight strokes (THE DAILY).

NIKE'S LAW: In London, Matthew Syed wrote, "We should probably call it Nike’s Law: the quantity of bulls*** is proportionate to the amount of truth that needs to be concealed. The more obvious the facts, the more bulls*** you need to scatter around to divert everyone’s attention." The law was exemplified in the presentation of McIlroy in Abu Dhabi on Monday as the face of Nike Golf in "one of the most comical press conferences in sporting history." Anyone "with two brain cells understands the Nike business model." The American multinational "produces sportswear and equipment using cheap labour in Asia." Having produced the gear, Nike approaches sportspeople who have "invariably made it to the top without any help from or association with the company and signs them up." It wants people "to see McIlroy using Nike and to infer that McIlroy's brilliance is a consequence of the association." These inferences "are patent nonsense, of course" (LONDON TIMES, 1/16).
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