When Nike announced in August that it would quit producing golf clubs and related hardgoods, the news caught many industry observers off guard, as much for the company’s decision as its timing.
The plan behind the Aug. 3 announcement now starts to make sense. Sources tell Golfweek (and first reported by Darren Rovell of ESPN) that Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., has signed world No. 1 Jason Day to an apparel contract that will include clothing, hat, shoes and glove, effective Jan. 1.
Day’s deal will make him the highest paid golfer in the game, as his Nike contract is reportedly worth north of $100 million over its term.
Day will continue to play TaylorMade clubs, having re-signed an equipment deal with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf that should be announced soon.
Day’s apparel contract with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf expires at the end of the year. With the hardgoods maker TaylorMade, a division of the German multinational Adidas, up for sale, the timing appears to be ideal for Day, Adidas and even Nike, which stated it would not abandon golf completely and continue to produce softgoods aimed at the sport.
Day’s signing underscores Nike’s commitment to the game but at a different level via its apparel division.
Sources said both of Day’s deals are long-term and will put the Australian in the Nike and TaylorMade camps for years to come.
Concur, the travel-and-expense software coapany, also is believed to be expanding its relationship with Day by moving its logo from his chest to sponsorship of his bag.
Neither Bud Martin – who represents Day – nor Nike or Taylormade-Adidas would comment on the signings when contacted. Sources expect an announcement soon