Category: Titleist

November 02, 2012

Report: Rory McIlroy has already filmed Nike commercial with Tiger Woods

Posted at 4:42 PM by Mike Walker

Rory_tiger_forwebThe worst-kept secret in sports since the Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine is that Nike has signed Rory McIlroy to a long-term endorsement deal, but no one at Nike or in McIlroy's camp will confirm it.

Robert Lusitech of reports that McIlroy has not only joined Nike, but also that he has already filmed a Nike commercial with Tiger Woods.

In a deal reportedly worth at least $200 million, Nike has made the world's No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy its biggest star.

Although no one involved would officially confirm the signing, has learned that McIlroy has already filmed his first Nike television commercial, to debut next year.

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.

Earlier this week, McIlroy and Acushnet, Titleist's parent company, announced they would end their relationship at the end of the year.

Related: Nike tweets red driver | McIlroy career photos | Woods career photos | Nike homepage

(Photo: McIlroy and Woods at their exhibition match at Lake Jinsha Golf Club in Zhengzhou, China, on Monday/AP)

October 30, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Faldo calls McIlroy's equipment change 'dangerous'

Posted at 2:55 PM by Mark Dee

Rory McIlroy has changed a lot since winning the 2011 U.S. Open. He swapped agents, switched tours, and, after this season, will be switching equipment sponsors. One major champion is worried about the effect new clubs might have on McIlroy' s game. 

Nick Faldo appeared on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive on Tuesday and called McIlroy's equipment change a "dangerous" move, according to Ryan Lavner.

“I call it dangerous,” he said. “I’ve changed clubs and changed equipment, and every manufacturer will say, ‘We can copy your clubs; we can tweak the golf ball so it fits you.’ But there’s feel and sound as well, and there’s confidence. You can’t put a real value on that. It’s priceless.

“You have to be very, very careful. You easily could go off and do this and it messes you up because it just doesn’t quite feel the same. When you’re striping it, it’s fine. But as soon as doubt comes in…

“I’d be very cautious. I’d love someone like him, in his position, to sell the bag. That bag is worth a fortune; it’d be on TV all the time. Stick with the clubs that you know best, that you believe the best."

Most believe Rory will announce a deal with Nike for the upcoming year, following the well-worn path of Tiger Woods.

Related: McIlroy's career in pictures | Nike Homepage | Titleist Homepage | See-Try-Buy

October 23, 2012

Rory McIlroy addresses Nike rumors in Shanghai

Posted at 6:55 AM by Alan Shipnuck

P1-Rory1SHANGHAI -- The rumors of Rory McIlory decamping to Nike have reached China. On Tuesday, during a pretournament press conference at the BMW Masters, McIlroy was asked -- in Mandarin -- if “perhaps you will sign with someone else for the next 10 years or so.”

Ten years is the length of the contract of the purported Nike-Rory deal that has been bandied about in the golf press, usually attached to the eye-popping price tag of $250 million. (Of course, there’s also a parallel rumor involving TaylorMade, but somehow that isn’t as sexy.)

McIlroy smoothly deflected the question, saying, "I have my management company deal with endorsements and everything like that. I’m just here to concentrate on golf this week, and I’ve got enough to think about trying to get that ball in the hole. So no further comment on that.”

Later, he added, "These rumors have been going around for years, and it seems to always come up at this time of year.”

The big difference is that McIlory’s contract with Titleist expires at the end of this year. That is among the handful of deals he signed under his old agent, Chubby Chandler. Now McIlory’s new rainmaker, Conor Ridge, gets to take the world No. 1 into the open market.

RELATED PHOTOS: McIlroy’s career in pictures

The Nike rumor makes sense because the company always aggressively courts the most dominant player in every sport, and McIlory is clearly that guy in golf, and could be for the next couple of decades. (Nike’s creative talent could also have a lot of fun with McIlroy’s budding rivalry with Tiger Woods.) There is also historical precedent for the rumors, as Titleist has never been willing to pay top dollar for golf’s biggest names at the height of their marketability. Tiger Woods ditched his Titleist clubs for Nike in 2002, and Phil Mickelson decamped for Callaway after winning his first Masters in 2004.

McIlroy prizes loyalty and has been careful to say nothing that would complicate his current relationship with Titleist. I caught him alone on Tuesday afternoon and he did a convincing job sounding unconcerned about all the speculation.

“Even if I didn’t have one sponsor, I’d still make a great living because the prize money is so big,” said McIlroy, who topped the PGA Tour money list with more than $8 million, plus a $2 million FedEx Cup bonus. “I’ve never been motivated by money. All the business stuff will work itself out. What I want is more trophies.”

RELATED: Tiger Woods career in photos | Tiger Woods SI covers | Tiger Woods homepage

(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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