Two weeks after our sources insisted that Rory McIlroy would be joining Tiger Woods at Nike for $250m over 10 years - FoxSports.com is reporting it as a done deal and that the Holywood star will earn more than Woods and become Nike’s biggest earner.
According to Robert Lusetich, Woods and McIlroy have filmed a TV ad touting the new Nike Red driver alongside new signings Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley, who have also defected from Titleist as brand ambassadors.
According to the report:
The personable young Northern Irishman appears in the ad alongside the man who helped recruit him to Nike, Tiger Woods. The two banter while hitting the company’s new red driver and marvel at how far they’re hitting the ball…. The commercial also features two other long-hitting golfers, Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley, who have also made the switch to Nike as the company beefs up what has been a disappointing roster. The deal – which could net as much as $250 million – makes him Nike’s highest-paid golfer, replacing Woods. It’s believed that Woods once earned $35 million a year from Nike, but took a hefty paycut after his marital infidelities became public in 2009.
Rumours that Woods and McIlroy had filmed a Nike TV commercial in the US following the FedEx Cup play-offs have been circulating on internet forums for several weeks.
McIlroy and Acushnet - owners of Titleist/Footjoy - announced earlier this week that they would not be extending their five year relationship into 2013.
Nike and McIlroy’s agent at Horizon Sports Management, have consistently refused to comment. The Oregon sports giant, while not refuting the stories, calls them speculative. Speaking to golf.com this week, McIlroy’s manager Conor Ridge is quoted as saying that “the media knows more about this deal than I do.”