At the end of 2012, Rory McIlroy will end his endorsement deal with Titleist/FootJoy. At the age of 23, Rory has shown great promise in the sport of golf. He has won two major tournaments and is near the top of the list of most marketable athletes. Working to Rory's advantage is the fact that he is a global athlete. The sport of golf allows athletes to be viewed in a wider spectrum than in most sports.
Speculation over who Rory will endorse in 2013 and going forward is heating up. Rumors have surfaced saying Rory may join Nike in an unprecedented deal. Some rumors say Rory may receive a 10 year contract with a value of $250 million. In comparison, the deal that Tiger Woods signed with Nike in 2001 was a 5 year deal worth a reported $100 million.
If these rumors end up being true, the deal would be huge for both Rory and Nike. Rory is at a time in his career when he is still very young. A decision to sign a long term contract could help to shape Rory's career. Rory McIlroy's prime in the sport of golf is likely to come within the next 10 years, Rory's endorser could benefit greatly from having him a part of their brand during this time. This also comes at an interesting time for Nike. For years, Tiger Woods has been the face of Nike golf. Turning 37 years old soon, Tiger Woods is most likely past his prime in the sport of golf. It is time for Nike to get on board with the next big thing in golf, and as of now that looks like Rory McIlroy.
There is a significant risk for Nike in signing a long term contract with so much money committed to one player. Rory seems to be the best young golfer with a very promising career ahead of him yet there is no guarantee on his success. If Nike agrees to a long term deal with Rory and his play doesn't meet expectations, Nike may be caught having to deal with a lackluster face of Nike golf for many years.
Although there is some risk, I think a potential long term lucrative deal would be beneficial for Rory McIlroy and Nike. Rory is most likely going to be the face of golf for a long time. It is a worthwhile risk for Nike to sign Rory. Nike has proven that they are interested in having the best player in golf as the face of the Nike brand. This is a good decision. Who would not want to have the best player in a given sport as the face of their brand? Rory is about to get PAID.