It’s officially official. Rory McIlroy has dropped Titleist, Oakley, et al for Nike. He’s going to be using Nike gear across the board — Driver, irons, putter, ball, hat, sneakers, etc.
Below is the first ad for McIlroy. It’s him and Tiger Woods on a range going shot for shot. It’s a good ad, and it’s a lot like the old Michael Jordan-Larry Bird ads from back in the day.
There were rumours that McIlroy’s deal with Nike was paying him $20 million a year. Lately there have been multiple reports saying that figure is inaccurate, but no one has come up with a different number. What ever the figure is, it’s a lot for McIlroy.
There’s some risk for both parties here. McIlroy is the number one golfer in the world. If his game suffers because of the new equipment, then Nike’s brand suffers. And, McIlroy, also suffers, though he’s financially set for life.
Odds are that McIlroy will be fine. The truth about golf equipment is that it’s all pretty much the same. You can get your gear custom made to fit your swing. The difference between a Nike blade and a Titleist blade is probably minimal. And for his driver he will be using the same shaft, which is more important than the head of the club. The risk will be with the wedges which require feel.
McIlroy and Woods kick off their season this week in Abu Dhabi. It will be fun to watch them play.
Here’s the commercial:
And here’s one of those Bird-Jordan ads:
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