The courtship is at an end, people.
World No1 Rory McIlroy has signed an endorsement contract with Nike believed to be worth in excess of $200 million.
Fortune Brands has agreed to sell its golf business, which includes Titleist and FootJoy, to a group led by the owner of the Fila sports brand for $1.23 billion in cash, according to Reuters. The sale is the first big play toward the planned breakup of Fortune to become solely an alcoholic drinks company.
Reuters reported last week that sources say the Blackstone Group and Callaway Golf are teaming up to place a bid on Fortune’s golf business, Acushnet (better known as Titleist and Footjoy), in a deal worth up to $1 billion.
On Wednesday TaylorMade-adidas Golf officially declared it was signing Camilo Villegas to a club, ball, headwear, footwear, glove and bag deal. Villegas is under contract with Cobra and Titleist through 2010. It appears that reps across the board are rather confused by the timing of TMaG’s announcement.
No one seems to recall any brand issuing a press release about a player signing the following year while the current season is still in progress. Does TMaG perceive the much smaller Cobra, which merged with apparel company PUMA earlier this year, as a threat?