Nike has signed world No. 1 golfer Jason Day to a new deal to wear its shoes, apparel, and hat, ESPN’s Darren Rovell first reported on Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but one source told Rovell that Day will earn north of $10 million per year from Nike to wear its swoosh.
As Rovell noted, Nike’s decision in August to no longer make golf equipment wound up playing a large role in their ability to sign Day.
The move became possible when Nike suddenly announced last month that it was leaving the equipment business. Day, whose contract is up at the end of the year with TaylorMade-Adidas, is happy with his equipment, so he re-signed with TaylorMade. Those who have TaylorMade clubs usually get paired with Adidas shoes and apparel. But that has changed as Adidas, amidst continued consumer pressure in the golf business, is selling its golf businesses.
Although Nike boasts two of the world’s most popular golfers in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, signing Day is still massive — particularly when it comes to seeing the swoosh in contention on Sunday at the majors. As Rovell notes, a Nike golfer hasn’t won a major in the last eight tries, their longest drought since 2003-04.
In 2013, McIlroy signed a deal with Nike reportedly worth $250 million. Most of the long-term endorsements deals in golf for the top golfers are ten years in length.
Woods, though he is expected to return in October, has been completely irrelevant lately due to injuries. McIlroy, meanwhile, has been inconsistent and won just twice in 2016. As Rovell notes, Nike had previously been pushing Brooks Koepka as their next big name, though he has only won once on tour.
Day will hope to turn things around for Nike.
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