It appears as if golfer Rory McIlroy is about to become Nike’s new $250 million man. Rumors have been swirling that the Northern Irishman is on the cusp of signing a monster endorsement deal with Nike, worth somewhere in the neighborhood of one-quarter of a billion dollars over 10 years.
Nike has been clamoring for a fresh, new face to sponsor in the world of golf. They previously put their eggs in the Anthony Kim basket, and it’s all but clear at this point that arrangement isn’t going to work out as well as Nike had hoped. Kim has been a huge disappointment on the PGA Tour, and that’s surely not going to do anything to boost the popularity of Nike.
McIlroy’s current deal with Titleist/FootJoy is set to expire at the end of this season, leaving the best and, perhaps most popular, golfer in the world as a free agent. It’s expected that a deal of this size would result in McIlroy going with Nike products from head to toe and from driver to wedge.
Speaking about the rumored deal with Nike, McIlroy said, “These rumors have been going around for years and it seems to always come up at this time of the year. I leave it up to Conor (Ridge, McIlroy’s manager) to sort out as it leaves me to concentrate on my golf.”
In my opinion, this deal is a no-brainer both sides. McIlroy gets a cool $250 million in his pocket, some sweet new clothes and shiny new golf clubs. At the same time, Nike gets to utilize McIlroy’s worldwide popularity in its marketing campaign, essentially making him the new face of Nike golf. It seems like Nike has been waiting for an opportunity like this since Tiger Woods fell out of favor with the public, and I don’t see Nike letting this slip through their fingers.