How will Rory McIlroy look in New Balance? We’re about to find out.
The No. 3-ranked golfer in the world is the global face of Nike Golf, yet the Beaverton, Ore.-based company passed on the opportunity to outfit their star client and the rest of the Irish Olympic team for relative peanuts.
Via the Irish Golf Desk:
Rory McIlroy’s might be Nike’s $100m superstar but the global giant was reportedly not best pleased when it realised it missed a golden opportunity to sponsor his bid for an Olympic medal in Brazil this summer
That’s the view of Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) President, Pat Hickey, who revealed yesterday that the US sportswear behemoth was offered the chance to sponsor the Irish Olympic team’s gear in Rio, guaranteeing them the sight of McIlroy sporting the Nike swoosh for golf’s long-awaited return to the Games.
Instead, the deal went to Boston-based New Balance for what Hickey said was “peanuts” compared to the $20m a year that Nike are paying the four-time major champion.
“Before Rory decided whether he’d declare for Team GB or Ireland we put our team gear out to contract,” Hickey explained at the “100 days to Rio” presentation in a Dublin city centre hotel.
“Just in case he declared for us, we went to Nike in the UK and told them we might have Rory. But they just dismissed us out of hand and now they regret it, I believe.
“I’m told that the Nike guys nearly collapsed when they heard what happened and that they’d missed a golden opportunity.
“Rory’s agent came to us and said, ‘What about Nike?’ And I said, ‘What about them? They had the opportunity and they missed it.’”