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Sympatico Column: Will McIlroy's deal with Nike shift more drivers?

My latest column for Sympatico (or as it is now called, The Loop), is now live:

The swoosh has a new home – in the middle of Irish golf star Rory McIlroy’s hat.

And on the back of his clubs. And there’s a Nike logo on his shirt. For the money Nike paid him, I’m sure the mop-topped star would willingly have it tattooed on his arm.

That’s right – after months of speculation, McIlroy and Nike have finally made their courtship official. For an undisclosed amount of money, McIlroy and the Oregon-based athletic equipment company inked a deal that was announced as the golfer was preparing to play for the first time in 2013 in Abu Dhabi. The arrangement was widely anticipated, especially after Titleist, who had an endorsement deal with McIlroy, who has won two of golf’s major championships by the age of 23, said it wouldn’t be renewing its contract late last year. By that point rumors were already circulating that Nike would make a big bet on McIlroy.

The full column is here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • although the brand Nike sells well, in golf there are still many golf shops who stock no NIKE stuff, it goes back to the old days when it was only a storeline brand made by slave labour.
    I think most of us who shared this concern are getting old and now NIKE and Rory can make that push for the younger market. IMHO the clubs have too much shine. I doubt Taylormade is nervous.

    • My guess the $5,000,000 fee covers them also committing to play in shanghai in November at the HSBC Champions which is a WGC event and no appearance fees permitted. They did not play last year for various reasons.

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