RORY MCILROY has officially signed a new deal with Nike worth a reported $250 million.
The five year deal cements the 23 year old Northern Irishman’s place atop of the world golf pile.
The world No.1 will use Nike-branded clubs and balls and wear the company’s apparel during his season debut this week at the European PGA Tour’s World Golf Championship HSBC Champions event in Abu Dhabi.
Fellow Nike ambassador and now world No.2 Tiger Woods will also be teeing it up in Abu Dhabi in the first of a number of expected high profile clashed between the two this year.
Already they have appeared in a new television commercial together screened at the official Nike announcement on Monday.
“It’s a company and a brand that really resonates with me,” McIlroy said. “It’s young. It’s athletic. It’s innovative. They are committed to being the best, as am I.”
Actual term of the agreement weren’t disclosed.
We’ve long seen McIlroy on course wearing his Jumeirah Group LLC cap but that five year partnership ended on January 8.
Gone also will be the Titleist and FootJoy equipment used by McIlroy
since turning professional in 2007.
Under the agreement, McIlroy said he would only use Nike clubs, even replacing his Titleist-branded putter, typically the last club high-ranked players change.
That move has been questioned by some, including Nick Faldo, who won six major titles with the same brand of clubs and then failed to win another tournament after switching equipment sponsors in 1998.
“It’s the classic example of if it’s not broken don’t fix it,” Faldo told a reporter. “It sure isn’t broken. You’ve got to be very careful. You’d rather have trophies in the cabinet because that leads to a fortune rather than having a fat bank balance and nothing in the cabinet.”
— Brian O'Hare (@asgolfer1) January 14, 2013