Rory McIlroy’s Fallout With Nike Confirmed? Greyson Clothiers Makes a Bold Move Amid Split Rumors

Published 01/15/2024, 11:07 PM EST

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Et tu, Rory McIlroy? The Northern Irish golfer is a long-time face of Nike, but it seems, just like Tiger Woods, their partnership has also come to an end. Greyson Clothiers, the brand that sponsors Justin Thomas and was recently rumored to be partnering with Charlie Woods, shared a post on their Instagram handle that hints at a new partnership in the offing.

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Greyson Clothiers posted snippets from Dubai Creek Resort, where Rory McIlroy posed with the man, who appears to be the founder of the Michigan-based brand Charlie Schaefer. The apparel brand wrote on its Instagram handle, “Our pack leader at the Dubai Invitational.”  Although there has not been any official announcement yet, the post seemingly hints that McIlroy, too, is leaving Nike. The snapshots appear to be from the Pro-Am of the Dubai Invitational, where the current World No.2 came a close second behind Tommy Fleetwood.

 

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Interestingly enough, Greyson Clothiers is also the apparel sponsor of Rory McIlroy’s TGL team, Boston Common Golf. So, for the Detroit-based brand, landing the four-time Major winner might just be the impetus they need to fortify their position as an emerging market leader.  Last month, it was widely reported that Charlie Woods had signed with the apparel brand. In fact, the 14-year-old sported Greyson Clothier’s famous Wolf emblem in the 2023 PNC Championship.

Justin Thomas is arguably the biggest name associated with Greyson Clothiers as of now. Reportedly, the apparel brand offered equity in exchange for an endorsement, to the two-time Major champion. Furthermore, PGA Tour’s rising youngster, Akshay Bhatia, is also a Greyson Clothiers ‘pack leader’. 

On the flip side, McIlroy’s departure might prove to be a fatal blow for Nike. The Oregon HQ brand has already lost Tiger Woods, the brand’s face, for 27 years. In the 15-time Major winner’s absence, Rory McIlroy emerged as the most prominent face of Nike on the PGA Tour. Notably, the 34-year-old also used to sport Nike clubs before the brand shut down its equipment business in 2016. The apparel brand’s recent decisions hint that Nike is retracing its footsteps in the golf apparel business as well. 

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Where is Nike headed?

Nike seems to be inching closer to a major overhaul in their golf business. The sports giant slashed its revenue growth to 1%, down from the mid-single digit, as CNBC reported earlier. Moreover, Nike has also initiated a $2 billion cost-cutting measure, a part of which includes layoffs, as the apparel giant looks to leverage automation in some parts of the business.

Rory McIlroy: The Pro Who Almost Always Wins

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Nike is planning to outsource its golf business through Cleaveland or Srixon, two Original Equipment Manufacturers, per reports. Notably, Jason Day while leaving Nike in favor of Malbon Golf, subtly criticized the apparel giant for its rigidity. Rory McIlroy’s departure might just confirm that Nike is calling it quits in the golf business.

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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I, Parnab Bhattacharya, am a budding golf writer at EssentiallySports. I am keen on constantly exploring my deep-rooted love for golf through my long-time passion for writing. With a strong knack for storytelling and experience in SEO content writing, I bring a unique blend of fluent writing and technical expertise.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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