Sport Golf

Friday 22 August 2014

McIlroy to join world sport’s top earners with €15m-a-year Nike deal

Karl MacGinty

Published 31/10/2012 | 05:00

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Rory McIlroy. Photo: AP

Rory McIlroy is on the brink of becoming one of the top earners in world sport.

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McIlroy's prospects of landing by far the biggest sponsorship deal ever accepted by an Irish sportsman took one giant step closer to reality yesterday when Titleist revealed they would not stand in the way of his departure.

So the 23-year-old Ulsterman now is certain to sign a new $20m-a-year deal (€15.4m) with Nike, which over the next 10 years is expected to yield well over $250m in bonuses and other spin-offs.

They are likely to include a share of the profits if, as is now customary with the megastars in their stable, Nike introduce a Rory McIlroy 'Collection'.

His new deal will place the world No 1 on a par with Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant on the Nike team.

Nike's millions, McIlroy's other sponsorship contracts and the millions he already earns each year on the fairways should send his annual income rocketing to over the $35m (€27m) mark.

Tied 91st with Ernie Els on the list of 100 Top Earners in world sport compiled by Forbes Magazine last June, this would propel McIlroy (left) past stars like Wayne Rooney and well into the top 15.

A joint-statement issued by Wally Uihlein, CEO of Titleist parent company Acushnet, and McIlroy revealed they would part amicably on December 31.

While McIlroy's management team must explore the implications for his other sponsors of Nike coming on board, he's now certain to have the 'swoosh' on his golf bag, clothing, cap, clubs and ball when the 2013 season dawns in January.

Irish Independent

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