McIlroy Will Sign $250 million Nike Deal
Rumours abound about a possible 10 year $250 million Nike deal for golfer Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy’s current sponsorship deals include golf manufacturer Titleist, who have sponsored him since he turned pro, Dubai-based hotel group Jumeirah, the sunglasses manufacturer Oakley, Santander bank, and the watchmaker Audemars Piguet. These companies are thought to have given him £6.25 million in earnings.
But the muted deal with Nike would put him a new category of sporting wealth, no European golfer could match his potential earning power.
Tiger Woods has been with Nike for over a decade. And, despite his recent off the course issues, has remained an important marketing tool for the company.
Nike expects exclusive sponsorship deals with its top stars, fees will be negotiated with McIlroy’s remaining sponsors to ensure Nike exclusivity.
Any association with Nike will undoubtedly launch McIlroy into the sports stratosphere, especially in America. And opportunities for joint marketing with Woods could be of great benefit to Nike, as well as Woods and McIlroy themselves.
McIlroy’s clean cut image, his seeming inability to court controversy, and his impressive management of his own image, all attracted Nike to the Northern Irishman. And of course those couple of majors.
It was recently announced Nike were severing ties with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, this coming after controversies involving Woods and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. It may have been felt that a feel good deal with the good guy of golf was needed to soothe qualms that the future of the brand is safe.
Nike stuck by Tiger Woods after revelations of multiple affairs hit the press, but Lance Armstrong’s systematic doping regime was a step too far for the sports manufacturing firm.
An association with the clean cut McIlroy can only help rebuild the firm’s global image. He’s seen as a low risk property considering his stable public persona. McIlroy’s girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki is sponsored by Adidas.
Now Nike just need to pray he doesn’t get up to anything he shouldn’t in the next ten years.
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