Golf fans enjoyed a short head-to-head feud between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy last year. We came out of it knowing that the two of them brought out the best in each other on the course, and in press conferences.
That was 2012. In 2013, they'll be on the same team.
Which team? Nike.
All it took was a five year deal multi million for Nike to court McIlroy away from Acushnet Co., which outfitted him with FootJoy and Titleist. Early reports indicated the deal was for around $200 million, but sources have since reported it's not quite that much. My guess is it's probably closer to the $200 million mark than Nike is willing to let on.
"I chose Nike for a number of reasons," McIlroy said. "It's a company and a brand that really resonates with me. It's young. It's athletic. It's innovative. They are committed to being the best, as am I. Signing with Nike is another step towards living out my dream."
For as long as McIlroy has been showing up on our TV screens, we've seen him with the Jumierah logo on his hat or shirt. Frankly, I never knew who they were until I decided to find out one day while watching McIlroy walk down the fairway.
They're a luxury hotel chain, wouldn't you know. The company's five-year ad space reign on McIlroy's golf clohing is over now, as they chose not to renew their contract.
Golf isn't quite NASCAR when it comes to promoting and showcasing sponsors on TV, but the logos don't go unnoticed. I never would have visited the Jumierah site without seeing it on McIlroy's shirt. It is no surprise to me McIlroy got so much money from Nike. He'll make them much more in return.
The only concern I'd have over the sponsor change is his ability to switch equipment. Golfers in the past have complained about switching equipment sponsors and having it affect their game. I've got to believe McIlroy did his homework and played enough practice rounds with the Nike equipment to feel comfortable enough to make the switch.
It's a huge day for Nike and it's continuously growing impact on the golf world. Having the current World No. 1 golfer and arguably the greatest of all time on your roster at the same time will do that.
And of course, they've already made an awesome commerical: click here.