Rory keeping cool on eve of mammoth payday
By Conor Nagle under Equipment

Gods of victory: this bromance could be worth millions.

In China for this week’s BMW Masters, Rory McIlroy has responded to mounting speculation he is on the verge of confirming an enormous sponsorship contract with sportswear manufacturer Nike.

According to the Guardian’s Ewan Murray, the proposed endorsement will likely see the 23-year-old exchange his current deals with Titleist, Oakley, Santander and Audemars Piguet for an exclusive 10-year contract valued at somewhere in the region of $250 million.

A cloud in the corporate stratosphere beckons, it seems, but the Northerner is at least making a good fist of feigning indifference:

“I leave it up to Conor (Ridge, McIlroy’s manager) to sort out as it leaves me to concentrate on my golf. That’s all I can do and besides I have enough to think about trying to get the ball in the hole. Also I’ve got a very important end to my season coming up and I need to concentrate myself fully on that goal.” (AFP)

It’d be nice to see a major athlete moot Nike’s alleged exploitation and harassment of workforces in the developing world, or denounce the rank cynicism and hypocrisy with which the company jettisoned Lance Armstrong only last week*, but…

Gotta get paid, I guess.

Conor Nagle

*I’m not implying Lance was somehow mistreated, by the way; quite the opposite. He was so obviously guilty for so long that Nike’s ethical judgement deserves to be called into question. Anyway, I digress.