Golf

Source: McIlroy signs deal with Nike

Image: Rory McIlroy (© Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy has reportedly signed a monster deal with Nike.
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Robert Lusetich

After more than 20 years of covering everything from election campaigns to the Olympic Games, Robert Lusetich turned his focus to writing about his first love: golf. He is author of Unplayable: An Inside Account of Tiger's Most Tumultuous Season. Follow him on Twitter.

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

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For some golfers, the biggest prizes aren't their tournament wins but their wives and girlfriends.

Although no one involved would officially confirm the signing, FOXSports.com 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.

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.

McIlroy, who had used Titleist clubs and balls in his five years as a professional, has signed a 10-year deal with the Oregon-based sports giant.

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.

Tagged: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy

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