ESPN report that the world number one is about to sign a new deal worth millions.
Just when you thought the world of golf sponsorship couldn’t get any more convoluted, it does. Nike shocked everyone when they decided to leave the equipment industry, forcing their athletes to reconsider their club options going forward.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will have a year to make that transition, but they will continue to wear Nike apparel. The news that Jason Day is to join them in this juxtaposition has come as a massive surprise.
“Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but one source said the No. 1 golfer in the world will get paid north of $10 million a year.”
Darren Rovell, ESPN
It’s no secret that Adidas are trying to sell the golf wing of their business and this puts Jason Day, whose contract is up at the end of the year, in a unique position. On the one hand he is happy with his equipment so re-signed with TaylorMade, on the other, he is looking to cash in on a big-buck contract. Enter Nike.
Their deal will see Jason wear Nike shoes and apparel, including its hat. The rational behind this contract is obvious to both parties.
A Nike endorser hasn’t won a major in the past eight, the longest drought since 2003-04. Day has finished in the top 10 in six of the past eight majors. This gives Nike an opportunity to recapture that exposure they’ve been missing for a long period. Day’s consistency will guarantee them a spot on the primetime Sunday showing of a Major Championship. They’ve realised that hedging their bets on Rory is too inconsistent.
This all adds to the drama of being a golf brand; the future looks very different. Apparel and equipment will continue to divorce and we will see a reformed equipment hierarchy.
- Titleist will remain the bastion thanks to Rory and Tiger using their equipment.
- Callaway will move to occupy the “sexy” space left behind by Nike and Adidas.
- Cobra Puma will take the equipment/brand mantle.
- PING will continue to plod along like they always have.
- Srixon Cleveland are a Hideki Matsuyama/Smylie Kaufman away from climbing the industry ladder.
- Wilson will be a dark horse going forward.
- Bridgestone/Mizuno…who the f*** even knows.