WE have grown quite accustomed to Rory McIlroy wearing Nike outfits, however, during the Olympics in Rio he will be sporting New Balance instead.
You may think this would cause some problems with McIlroy's equipment and apparel sponsor, however, according to Pat Hickey (the president of the Olympic Council of Ireland) the sports apparel giant elected to pass on the opportunity prior to McIlroy confirming his playing status.
“Just in case he declared for us [over Great Britain], we went to Nike in the UK and told them we might have Rory,” said Hickey.
“But they just dismissed us out of hand now they regret it, I believe.
“I’m told that the Nike guys nearly collapsed when they heard what happened and that they’d missed a golden opportunity.
Nike is yet to make a formal statement on the matter and, perhaps, understandably so when you look at the figures surrounding Ireland's New Balance deal, believed to be worth between £1-£2 million.
That’s not much compared to the $US20 million a year Nike pay McIlroy, however, the sight of him in different apparel will not paint a pretty picture for his principal sponsor.
The New Balance deal requires McIlroy to wear shirts, pants, hats and a non-branded Team Ireland bag, though, the Irishman can still use his Nike clubs and shoes.
McIlroy has been a part of the Nike family along with likes of Tiger Woods, Charl Schwartzel and Paul Casey since 2013 after signing a multi-million dollar deal.
RORY MCILROY SHARES HIS SWING THOUGHTS: