Golf superstar Rory Mcllroy has penned a ten-year deal with TaylorMade to use the manufacturer’s clubs, ball and golf bag.
Mcllroy will lend his image to the Californian company’s future advertising campaigns in both print and film. The four-time major winner had been without an equipment contract since the end of last year, when Nike Golf - the golf arm of the Oregon-based company - announced that it would transition out of producing equipment such as clubs, balls and bags, and would focus instead on golf footwear and apparel.
It has been widely reported that McIlroy will earn US$10 million a year from the agreement with the brand. The deal was announced shortly before Adidas confirmed that it was to sell TaylorMade and its other golf brands, Adams Golf and Ashworth, to private equity firm KPS Capital Partners for US$425 million. The German sportswear giant has been seeking a buyer for the three companies for the past year as it seeks to consolidate its business elsewhere.
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the sale follows a significant drop in revenues for Adidas' golf equipment division from US$1.7 billion in 2012 to just over US$500 million last year.
In April, McIlroy agreed a ten-year extension of his apparel agreement with Nike, which will cover footwear, apparel, headwear and gloves. As part of the Nike agreement, the 28-year-old Northern Irishman is prohibited from having additional sponsors on his Nike cap or clothing.
Mcllroy’s anticipated net income from on-course deals alone is believed to be a minimum of US$200 million over the next decade.
“I tested different combinations, a lot of different stuff,” said McIlroy. “I came to the conclusion that this was the best way forward for me to try and improve, try and win more, try to get back to world number one and try to win more majors. So I’m really excited.
“I tested quite a few balls and the one that I landed on was really it; the ball was what led me to this point because this is the best ball I’ve ever hit. Then it was just about trying to match everything up to that.”
McIlroy joins many high-profile golfers, such as world number one Dustin Johnson, former world number one Jason Day and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia, in using TaylorMade equipment.