It was only a matter of time, but golf megastar Rory McIlroy has capitalized on his success in a major way. McIlroy has signed a multiyear deal with Nike that will outfit him from head to toe in the famous swoosh apparel. He is moving all of his golf equipment to Nike products, as well.
In an over the top announcement at the Fairmont Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Monday, McIlroy was officially welcomed into the Nike family, joining Tiger Woods as the face of Nike Golf. While the terms of the deal weren’t released, it is believed to be in the vicinity of $200 – $250 million over 10 years.
“I’ve always associated Nike with the best,” McIlroy said at the announcement. “Growing up, whether it was golf, tennis, football, the best athletes were with Nike. I’ve watched Tiger Woods make history with Nike, and Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. Now I want to create my own history with Nike. … Nike is a company and a brand that really resonates with me. It’s young. It’s athletic. It’s innovative. They are committed to being the best.”
This is a huge, but somewhat risky move for McIlroy. As anyone who plays golf knows, it is very easy to get comfortable with certain equipment, and change is not generally welcomed. Although, $250 million is a pretty good reason to give change a chance. If he struggles out of the gate with the new equipment, there are going to be a lot of critics questioning the move.
This is likely only the first high-profile cash grab of many for a man that is currently at the top of the golfing world. He is young and the masses have an easy time relating to, and rooting, for McIlroy. This deal makes sense from both sides. McIlroy is getting an exorbitant sum of money to endorse golf equipment and apparel, while Nike continues their history of locking up the best of the best in the world of sports.
Even though Nike has stood by Woods through the personal scandals and unimpressive golf seasons, the company has to be elated at bringing in a fresh face to represent their brand. They don’t get much bigger than McIlroy in the world of golf, and I’m sure that’s why Nike pursued him so aggressively.
Kudos to Rory. If anyone deserves a $250 million golf endorsement deal, it’s him.