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SBD Global/January 22, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
McIlroy Causes 'A Stir' By Reverting Back To Titleist Putter After Signing New Nike Deal
Published January 22, 2013
PLAYING PARTNERS: McIlroy and Woods' new Nike commercial was a topic during GOLF.com's weekly roundtable discussion, and SI Senior Editor Mark Godich said, “I think it's great. Tiger comes off as likable. I also think that if this keeps up, Rory just might help Tiger rehabilitate his image.” SI’s Gary Van Sickle said, “The commercial is a winner, even after you learn that Rory and Tiger were never together for the filming.” Golf Magazine Senior Editor Mike Walker said, “The commercial explains why McIlroy went with Nike: they know how to create stars" (GOLF, 1/20).
A 'PR NIGHTMARE': In Dublin, Karl MacGinty wrote "the honeymoon appeared to be turning into a PR nightmare" for Nike following Monday's sponsorship announcement in Abu Dhabi. In fairness, "his old putter made precious little difference" as McIlroy completed his 36 holes at 6-over, four strokes off the cut. McIlroy: "It's the first week. I wouldn't read too much into the change. If anything, it's more the Indian than the arrow." Nike "dismissed any suggestion of dismay with his decision to discard their putter." A Nike spokesperson said, "We understand it takes time. It's a process and we're confident he'll change when he's ready" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 1/19).