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« "Going 'old school' will give you a whole new appreciation for the greatest game we know." | Main | Totally Unscientific Polls: Ban Anchoring Via Rules Of Golf »
Friday
Oct192012

Rory's Agent Has Not "Heard" Of Any Suggestion His Client Is Signing A 10-Year, $250 Million Deal With Nike

Brian Keogh reports that ten-percenter Conor Ridge may want to sign up for some Google news alerts as the rumors of a massive deal for Rory McIlroy refuse to go away. And with Acushnet/Titleist known for showing fiscal prudence by not ponying up silly amounts of money to re-sign high profile players, a deal elsewhere seems likely at year's end.

Unless you are Rory's agent!

It’s no secret that McIlroy’s deal with Titleist expires at the end of this year. And while we’ve been assured by our sources that he’s going to Nike to the tune of $250 million over 10 years, we’re going to have to wait until he turns up in Abu Dhabi in January for confirmation that he will wear the famous swoosh from head to toe.

Horizon Sports Management’s Conor Ridge successfully negotiated a move from Titleist to Nike for McIlroy’s stablemate Ross Fisher this year. But he is duty bound to deny all knowledge of plans to make McIlroy a Nike player in 2013.

“I hadn’t even heard it, to be honest,” Ridge said this week when asked about the strong rumours linking his client to Nike. “Look, he’s a Titleist player and there is no way I am going to make any comment on anything like that.”

If Rory goes to notoriously anti-other-corporate logo Nike, that would mean he wouldn't be able to have the fourteen logos including the "what was I thinking" Jumeirah Estates doozy on the hat. He'll want to win 16 more majors just to never see himself in career highlight films sporting the Jumeirah lid.

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Reader Comments (41)

Well since Nike just freed up money from Lance Armstrong my uneducated guess would say this is a done deal with Nike.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterA3
He's young--that seems to be inportant to nike

he's trendy, what with the hot bird and all

and he's european--where tiger has less pull

perfect trade for them
10.19.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Complete denial - - must be true
Lex David Duval - If Tiger befriends a top player, they are going to be signed by Nike within 12 months.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Nike needs some new talent. Who's the second highest-ranked Nike staffer, Carl Pettersen? They have some guys with major slumps (e.g. Kim, Cink, Casey). Still, I've never played golf with anybody with even one Nike club in this bag.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChema
If there is any truth to it, it must include clothes as well - or maybe I'm out to lunch, but I don't see how they could justify paying that for a club endorsement when it still results in people walking by the Nike clubs at the stores constantly.

Jumeirah is a strong brand though, just not in the USA.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Titleist = golf. Ping = golf. Talyormade = golf. Callaway = golf. Nike = running shoes.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Norrie
The Nike fairway woods are pretty choice. They do look kinda funny next to my Hogan blades, but they hit nice.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
Nike only does complete deals, which means they'd have to buy out Oakley amongst others. And given that Nike only payed Lance 40mil over last several yrs, and Nike doesn't tend to do 10yr deals except for established nike stars - I am skeptical of the reported terms.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElf
"And with Acushnet/Titleist known for showing fiscal prudence by not ponying up silly amounts of money to re-sign high profile players>"

I guess they learned their lesson when they signed Davis Love to a ridiculous 10-yr $50 million contract back in 2000 or so.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
The only club that has stayed in my bag without exception since 2006 is an 18 degree Nike CPR hybrid. Beautiful (well, it used to be a few years ago), small-headed hybrid that picks the ball very cleanly off the turf. Perfect club for me, but I've not hit any others from Nike. So if you ever play with me, Chema, I'll have the one Nike club!
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
Stupid is as stupid does... at least these numbers - $250 million seems stupid. Add another guy to the 1%, up against the wall when the revolution comes...
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim in Hoylake
Chema I am another player with a nike club, put a sasquatch 4 wood in my bag earlier this year and love it! But i think this is nonesense; with tiger still being at nike there wont be another big player to rival tiger. Simple as
10.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterkarlw4
The old Nike Slingshot hybrid is still the best club of its type ever made.

Best I can remember Nike's golf division sales are less than $700 million, sure send like a stretch to commit $25 motion annually to any player not named Tiger.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
What's the problem with Jumeirah? It's a highly established brand a and owns some of the best hotels around Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Nike is a magnificent sports brand, but the jury's still out as far as golf goes. Does Miura-san still make Tiger's irons and stamps the nice swoosh on them?
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChina Golfer
No problem with Jumeirah, but as noted above, it has zero point zero brand value in the US.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
And when I say zero, I mean ZERO. Like ask 1000 people on the street (non-tourists) of an average US city what they think of Jumeirah, you'll get 1000 blank stares.
10.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
Ask the same crew what Christ's first name was and you'd get the same. Aside from fast food and asinine entertainment, I would not base much on such surveys.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Nike has been trying to sign Rory since he was 16, and he has wisely told em to go pound sand. They have some decent stuff for amateurs, but their top line pro-quality stuff looks like plastic with the exception of the first run of blades that DD won his only major with, the VR blades are a step back....but...they're usually nice and shiny like AK and his bling.!

If any of this 250mil deal is true, they will want to dress him up head to toe in Saturn Swooshes...which is something I'm sure Rory won't go for. But then again, those are alot of dollar signs.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Rory has ditched his "rock," Holly Sweeney, and his glamorous and well-considered house in NI. And, of course, Chubby Chandler.

If the money is on offer, he is obviously gong to take it. No reason why he shouldn't. he's a professional. He's in it for the money and the perqs, one of which appears to be that tennis player.

He is at that stage of his life where he is shucking off while grabbing in. Hmmmm.... where have we seen this before?
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Except all the golf fans who now recognise it from the head of the best golfer in the world.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIan c
How many guys change clubs and then struggle? Tons of them. Don't do it Rory!
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterErik
I thought the VR Blades looked pretty nice, but went with Wilson Staff FG 62s instead. Nobody can accuse me of following the herd.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
handful of accomplished juniors in our area play nike (plus players to single digit)...

recently overheard them chatting at a tourney saying that titleist's clubs were their "father's" irons...
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElyse
@Elyse: REALLY??!!! Omg...didn't know juniors were so into Nike as you described. Titleist's are OLD man clubs eh? Tell the juniors that Titleists are for players who actually WIN tournaments....hence the name.

Nike Clubs = Shiny objects for simple golfers. That said, I do love wearing their shorts in the warm months, they know how to do clothing that is designed to sweat in....clubs/hard goods...not so much.

Also...semi-related remark: Anybody here remember or know how Nike's much hyped hockey line is doing these days?......didn't think so.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Those of you who bash other club companies are losers....but then again you are arguing in a blog's comment section so you all ready know where you stand in the rungs of the societal ladder.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenteroption720
Funny. According to the Devdog, here in New Mexico the top irons for high-level junior boys are Titleist followed by Callaway, and with elite girls you'd have to add in Ping. You essentially never see Nike clubs, but as johnnycz says you see a lot of Nike clothing.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
It would be the smart move for Nike to wrap up Rory. Titleist will always be a golf ball company first and foremost, and as such, they don't really need Rory.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
Roy in Hoy's 1% solution is of note.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Chema not true when we played I had a Nike square 3 wood in my bag.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaboy
Paboy: I am shocked. Then again, you use the sweeper. I'm not playing with you again until the anchoring ban is in effect.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChema
I play Nike through the bag. Great clubs though see very few other Nike clubs around. Nike's best blades are Miura's. VRs has been independently tested as being 4% longer than any other adjustable driver and has the tightest dispersion rate. I've heard separate reports of this for a couple of weeks here in Ireland. Nike equipment have big image problem vs. TM etc. this is their answer to solving that apparently.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSlimMonty
Nike's hockey division is Bauer and they are doing just fine.
10.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
Tighthead: Bauer has had nothing to do with Nike since 2008 they were sold off and are their own company again.
SlimMonty: Miura used to forge wedges for Nike but do not have anything to do with their irons.
Nike needs to stick to running shoes and that's about it.
#TeamTitleist
10.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBreks
"Nike has been trying to sign Rory since he was 16, and he has wisely told em to go pound sand...they will want to dress him up head to toe in Saturn Swooshes...which is something I'm sure Rory won't go for" - johnnynycz

You're definitely just making stuff out of your @ss. When did you hear about Rory? Last year?

Hmmm Rory wouldn't go for being dressed head to toe with a swoosh?
http://youtu.be/emHiby0kICo
10.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrover
Breks - thanks for that. I was alwaya CCM man but my eldest likes Bauer gear.
10.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
I could swear I saw Russel Henley and Suzanne Pettersen win with Nike clubs/balls/shoes/apparel today. Nike bashers are going to have a really, really tough year coming up.

And I will enjoy see them squirm.
10.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpence
Well played Grover!
10.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmarillo Slim
Grover: I'd like to believe Rory's golf fashion sense has evolved alot since he was a nine-year-old Tiger Woods fan.

It is no big secret that Nike has eyes and ears in the form of talent scouts all over the golf world looking for prospective talents to sign...why would Rory not be one of those young talents? NIKE had a deal all worked out and ready to sign when TW won his 2nd US Am and Earl turned it down because it wasn't enough in his mind. I personally know of 2 or 3 youngsters here in CZ that are being actively "recruited" so to speak...it's a sad reality in this day and age. I have to go to a CZ golf federation meeting next month where a 10 year old I teach is going to be selected for a national junior team which is sponsored by...well NIKE of course! They (the team?) may require him to carry a certain number of nike clubs if he wants to be on the team or at minimum get some $$$ support to play a full tournament schedule.

Anyways, unless the money is crazy good, I don't think Rory would go for being covered head to toe in swooshes when there are other potential sponsors who are fighting for spots to put their logos on him. His GF will most likely help him select some cools clothing sponsors not that Oakley is anything to frown at....also...Alberto hair products come to mind ;-))

As for NIKE Hockey...yup...Nike bought out Bauer when hockey was "en-vogue" on ESPN and I clearly remember the years Gretzky played while being a Nike sponsored athlete. His skates may have said "Nike"...but they were 100% CCM Tacks no question about it. They may have sorted out the problems but at the beginning, players all said the first Nike/Bauer models felt like cheap Chinese-made buckskates compared to established hockey brands. The new Nike/Bauer shells were breaking down in 2 weeks, blades needed replacing way more often than usual, rivets popping out after normal wear, etc...but don't take my word for it, I heard this from a few NHLers and a team GM who teed it up regularly at the club I worked at...and, they had new shiny Nike irons along with those awful Forged drivers.

Nike is a giant company that is focused on dominating markets wherever they go...their main motivation is making money not innovation. Why else would they repeatedly choose to buy out established firms in many different sports/activities, slap a swoosh on a cheapened version of the original, and then sell it like they invented it all along?
10.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
johnnnycz-"I'd like to believe Rory's golf fashion sense has evolved alot since he was a nine-year-old Tiger Woods fan."
yes you'd like to believe that 'cause you're obviously closeminded, and have some personal vendetta against a company that definitely you don't know about.

"Gretzky played while being a Nike sponsored athlete. His skates may have said "Nike"...but they were 100% CCM Tacks no question about it. They may have sorted out the problems but at the beginning, players all said the first Nike/Bauer models felt like cheap Chinese-made buckskates compared to established hockey brands. The new Nike/Bauer shells were breaking down in 2 weeks, blades needed replacing way more often than usual, rivets popping out after normal wear, etc."

Again, another stuff that you have to make up to make Nike look bad. Nike skates cosmetically modified Bauer Supreme 5000 skates, they weren't rebranded Tacks nor Graf (which another brand that Gretzky preffered) so there were no problems at the beginning. And your "felt like cheap chinese made buckskates compared to ESTABLISHED hockey brands"... established hockey brands? Canstar manufactured the Nike models, and Canstar is more than ESTABLISHED. And total B.S. about the blades. Nike used TUUK blades as their stock offering which was one of the best blades in the market at the time. If these "NHLers" have problems with their blades and their rivets it's not Nike's fault. It's their equipment managers fault for not putting together their skates properly as NHL teams don't receive assembled skates from manufacturers.

"Nike is a giant company that is focused on dominating markets wherever they go...their main motivation is making money not innovation. Why else would they repeatedly choose to buy out established firms in many different sports/activities, slap a swoosh on a cheapened version of the original, and then sell it like they invented it all along?"

What world do you live in? Do you actually believe that Nike is alone from doing this? Nike is a business, and just like other businesses, they're out there to make MONEY. And if you don't think that they're not making money through innovation, then you're just simply out of your freaking mind, LoL.

And Mr. jonnnycz, if you don't mind, would you like to share with us what equipment you use and what vehicle do you drive. And yes I would like to know because those things actually have something to do with your posts.
10.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrover

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