Nike sponsored golfers includes the names like Tiger Woods, Rory Mcllroy, Jason Day, Paul Casey, and many more. Here is the list of Nike Sponsored Golf Players.
Nike, the world's leading and best-known sportswear brand, may no longer manufacture equipment, but it continues to produce apparel that some of the best players in the world use. Nike introduced the game of golf in 1984 with its first line of shirts and shoes.
Since then, it has become a cornerstone of the industry after linking up with high-caliber golfers like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
In 2006, the company became the number one global apparel brand in golf, and Seve Ballesteros was the first player to sign an endorsement deal in 1985.
And the biggest active sponsorship agreement it made worth $100 million with Northern Ireland's golfer Rory Mcllroy. Its sponsorship portfolio generally includes high-profile athlete endorsements and kit supplier partnerships with teams, competitions, and leagues.
Well, Nike's collaboration with its endorsed athletes benefits both parties, with the company generating millions from sponsorships and the players attaining wealth and recognition.
In this piece, we'll take a closer look at the list of ten Nike sponsored golfers and explore how this collaboration has assisted them in attaining success on the course.
10. Nelly Korda
- Year Signed: 2023
- Net Worth: $4 million
Nike has officially added LPGA superstar Nelly Korda to its roster of sponsored athletes. In January 2023, she revealed her choice to join the iconic brand on Instagram.
The post showed her excitement to join the Swoosh. Korda's deal with Nike is perhaps the brand's biggest women's golf collaboration since Wie inked a four-year, $20 million agreement as a 15-year-old rising golf star.
Although Wie has stepped away from the professional game, Wie remains a Nike athlete to this day.
Korda is an important addition to the Nike Golf squad since the Bradenton, Fla., native is admired by golf fans worldwide and other professional players.
The 24-years-old has eight LPGA Tour victories to her name. She earned an Olympic gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and her first major tournament title at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in 2021.
Before Nike, Korda wore J. Lindeberg clothes, a Swedish clothing company. However, in recent tournaments, the world No. 2 sported Nike’s Jordan 1 golf shoes. Korda is inching closer and closer to that title with her newest Nike deal.
Besides, Korda debuted on the Symetra Tour in 2016, winning her first pro tournament at the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge with rounds of 68-67-69-66 for a three-stroke victory against Wichanee Meechai. She finished ninth on the money list, earning her LPGA Tour membership for 2017.
Korda competed in the 2015 U.S. Junior Solheim Cup. She won the 2015 Harter Hall Invitational and the 2015 PING Invitational as an amateur and was an AJGA Rolex Junior All-American in 2015. She also reached the 2013 US Women's Open cut one month before turning 15.
9. Tommy Fleetwood
- Year Signed: 2010
- Net Worth: $5 million
Tommy Fleetwood has been a Nike athlete since 2010. He has continued to wear their gear even after the company ceased manufacturing equipment in 2016.
He remained a free agent until the end of the 2020 season when he secured a lucrative agreement with TaylorMade to utilize its equipment.
Fleetwood always stands out in major championships wearing Nike Golf attire, like he did in round one of the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2021.
At that time, he adorned the bark pattern look inspired by the host area, which is also available in the NK Repel Hoodie, and his preferred footwear is the Nike Air Max 90 golf shoes.
He turned pro in 2010 and has since played on the Challenge Tour, European Tour, and PGA Tour. In November 2018, Fleetwood reached his greatest career rating of #9 and finished second at the 2018 US Open and the 2019 Open Championship.
Tommy won the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2011, whereas in 2017, he won the Abu Dhabi Championship, which earned him around $450,000. The following year, he successfully defended his championship, receiving an additional $500,000 in prize money.
Moreover, Celebrity Networth has cited his overall fortune to be worth $5 million.
Similarly, Fleetwood represented Europe in the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, in September 2021. Fleetwood finished 0-1-2, including a tie in his Sunday singles matches against Jordan Spieth, as the US team triumphed 19-9.
Fleetwood clinched the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November 2022 at Gary Player Country Course in South Africa. He successfully defended this championship, which he had won the previous year.
8. Tony Finau
- Year Signed: 2016
- Net Worth: $6 million
Tony Finau signed his Nike deal in 2016. The same year, he won multiple tours at the Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach.
The specifics of Finau's Nike contract have yet to be made public, but the golfer's Nike gear has always been a topic of discussion.
To note one, in May 2019 at Bethpage Black, Finau wore a black-and-white striped shirt that was an optical illusion, like a geometrically inclined zebra. His hat was split in half; the left was red and orange, while the right was black.
Finau completed his look with a pair of Nike Air Max 1Gs, black-and-grey speckled trim, and a red swoosh.
Similarly, in July 2020, a piece released by golf.com addressed Finau's Nike Janoski shoes which are half skate shoes and half golf shoes.
His Nike Janoski G golf shoe represents the perfect intersection between golf and skate culture built for performance but designed for fashion. A foam sock liner is built into the shoe cushions every step, providing wearers protection against blisters and discomfort.
In 2022, Finau tied for 10th place in his third Master's tournament, capping a remarkable season for the 32-year-old. He finished in the top ten in the PGA Championship and advanced to the season-ending playoffs.
Then, five years and nine runner-up finishes later, Finau triumphed in a playoff at Liberty National Golf Club.
After his selection by captain Steve Stricker, the Salt Lake City native helped the United States defeat Europe in last year's Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
7. Michelle Wie
- Year Signed: 2005
- Net Worth: $20 million
Nike signed Michelle Wie to a five-year deal when she turned pro at age 16. Wie also signed other multiyear deals with Sony and Omega.
Nike spotted her potential and signed her to a four-year, $20 million contract. The five-time LPGA champion has been a Nike brand mainstay, exhibiting the finest of Nike's women's golf gear on the international stage.
According to her Instagram page, Wie extended her partnership with Nike for five years in 2022, during which she would be an athlete collaborator involved in the design.
Likewise, she is now a part of the Nike athlete Think Tank (a group of female athletes including Sabrina Lobescu, Serena Williams, Simone Manuel, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce) that helps the brand break down barriers in women’s sports.
While talking to Golfweek, Wie stated that she had feared that Nike might end her contract after she stopped playing. She was waiting for a heartbreaking call that Nike wouldn’t want to work with her, but it was the opposite.
Her early sponsor, Omega, stays with her for the next phase. She also has deals with MGM, Berde Golf, Pitchbook, and investment partnerships with Sportsbox.ai, LA Golf, aTonal, and Blueland.
Beside, Sony's association with Michelle began in 2004 when she participated as an amateur with an exemption in the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Her appearances at the competition added excitement to the tournament and the game of golf worldwide.
Sony was confident that the major development of its commercial connection with Michelle would assist the company's brand in maintaining its strong position in the industry and growing significantly throughout her tenure with Sony.
According to Celebrity Networth, Wie's contract with Nike has contributed to her net Worth of $20 million.
Michelle also spent less than $4 million for a property in Jupiter, Florida, in 2011. She sold this house in 2019 for $4.8 million. Michelle and Jonnie married in 2019 and acquired a $3 million property in San Francisco.
They sold this house in September 2021 for $3.5 million. In December 2021, the couple spent $5.7 million on the house in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Encino.
6. Francesco Molinari
- Year Signed: 2005
- Net Worth: $20 million
Francesco Molinari has been with Nike since he turned professional in 2005. Molinari renewed his deal with Nike on January 19, 2014.
In 2018, Molinari's victory at Carnoustie drew attention to something about his equipment. Specifically, despite wearing Nike emblems on his apparel, none of his golf clubs had the distinctive swoosh.
That's because Nike Golf opted to exit the golf club market six years ago and instead focus on clothing and shoes. This enabled a slew of Nike-sponsored pro golfers, including Molinari (along with fellow 2018 major winners Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed), to seek out new clubs to swing on Tour.
When Nike ceased producing equipment, he saw it as a chance to experiment as much as possible and find things that would help him enhance his game.
It was challenging since it required a lot of effort, especially for someone like him who had spent 12 years at Nike. He had no idea what was out there, so it took him some time to go through the tests, per golf.com.
Molinari wears Nike Roshe G Tour golf shoes and is headed into The Players Tournament 2019 fresh off a PGA Tour victory.
The Nike Golf attire during round two at TPC Sawgrass included:
- The Vapor Control Stripe polo shirt.
- Complementing NK Flex Trousers in Obsidian Navy.
- The Roshe G Tour shoes.
According to Celebrity Networth, Molinari, who won several amateur championships before turning pro in 2004, has a net worth of $20 million.
He obtained his European Tour card in 2005 and finished 86th in his first season. He won the Telecom Italia Open in May 2006, his first European Tour victory.
He won the BMW PGA Championship in 2018 and the Quicken Loans National in July of the same year. Francesco Molinari won the 2018 Open Championship in Angus, Scotland, on July 22, 2018.
It was the first major championship an Italian professional golfer won and came with a $1.8 million reward. As of July 2018, he had made more than $30 million from the course, with millions more coming from endorsements.
His principal gear sponsorship is with Nike, and he uses TaylorMade clubs and Titleist Pro V1X balls.
5. Paul Casey
- Year Signed: 2005
- Net Worth: $21 million
Paul Casey is one of the most well-known names in golf, and he is currently one of Nike Golf's longest-serving brand ambassadors.
After a great amateur career, Casey maintained that winning form into his professional career, where he currently has a victory count in the double digits. For over a decade, Paul Casey has sported Nike golf gear, footwear, and accessories.
According to Celebrity Networth, Casey has won £18 million in prize money and has three high-profile sponsors Nike Golf, Rolex, and Sentient Jet.
Casey has been one of the best golfers for almost two decades. In his first year on the European Tour, he finished in the top 25 overall, receiving the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award.
He eventually climbed to third place in the world rankings. The Englishman, who has resided in Scottsdale, Arizona, for many years, has five times represented Europe in the coveted Ryder Cup, winning three times in 2004, 2006, and 2018.
Since 2004, Casey has also competed on the US PGA Tour, with three event victories to his credit.
On September 23, 2006, in Ireland, he became the sole player in Ryder Cup history to win a foursome match with a hole-in-one. Casey was designated a captain's choice for the European Ryder Cup squad in September 2018.
He has twelve top-ten finishes in four majors, and the regular in the world's top 30 generated quite a stir with three top-ten performances in five majors between 2020 and 2021.
Casey has been a PGA Tour Player Advisory Committee member since 2020 and also an Unicef ambassador.
In 2022, Casey inked a multi-million dollar agreement to join the Saudi rebel circuit less than three years after rejecting to play in the Kingdom owing to ethical concerns in his role as a UNICEF ambassador.
After the final round of the second $25 million tournament, which saw South African Branden Grace walk away with more than £3 million, he was named as the LIV Golf Series' latest big-name catch in a stunning metamorphosis.
4. Brooks Koepka
- Year Signed: 2016
- Net Worth: $50 million
Koepka has been a Nike athlete since 2016 and was eager to test out their gear and attire.
Nike Golf's exit from the hard goods business in the summer of 2016 sent shockwaves through the equipment industry. Understandably, Nike quickly ceased creating golf clubs, but the connection remains regarding clothing, shoes, and accessories.
When the news was announced, Koepka was just eight months into a multi-year club, ball, and clothing relationship with the Swoosh, which would later transform into an apparel-only contract.
Besides Nike, Koepka is sponsored by Srixon, Rolex, NetJets, and Michelob Ultra.
Michelob Ultra is his second major sponsor, and the connection became well-known in 2021 following his spat with fellow LIV player Bryson DeChambeau.
Koepka, now a member of the LIV Golf League, has accumulated a large fortune during his professional career and was named one of Forbes' highest-paid golfers in 2022.
Koepka received $69 million for 2022 alone after joining the LIV Golf League. The following sum was based on a reported $53 million on-course and $16 million off-course.
Although the total sum Koepka received for joining the Saudi-backed series is unknown, it is expected to be in the nine-figure range.
Koepka earned $8,276,100 in 2022 after competing in seven LIV Golf tournaments, making him the sixth-highest earner of the year in the LIV Golf series.
Before joining, he was a successful member of the PGA Tour, collecting $38 million in career earnings. This put him in the top 20 on the PGA Tour's career money list.
3. Tiger Woods
- Year Signed: 1996
- Deal Worth: $40 million
Tiger Woods and Nike's relationship is one of history's most iconic athlete endorsement deals.
It all began in 1996, the year Woods turned pro. Since then, the Nike swoosh has adorned Tiger’s hats and shirts, and he played most of his matches with Nike clubs and Nike gold balls.
In April 2019, when Tiger secured his fifth Master's title, Nike quickly released an advertisement celebrating his victory, come back, and crazy childhood dream.
Besides, Nike and Woods' relationship has generated millions of dollars in business for both sides. His first contract with Nike was in 1996, reportedly for $40 million over five years.
As mentioned in Forbes, the following estimation was followed by a $100 million contract signed in 2001 over five years. The deal contains an eight years deal in 2006 for an estimated $20-$40 million annually.
Woods was a significant part of Nike's branding strategy, and the company used him in various marketing campaigns, including the famous "Hello World" ad campaign. He was often featured in television commercials, print ads, and other marketing materials.
In addition to wearing Nike apparel and footwear, Woods endorsed Nike golf equipment, including clubs and balls. The terms of this part of the deal are not public, but it is estimated that Woods earned tens of millions of dollars from it.
In August 2016, Nike announced that it was getting out of the golf equipment business, including ceasing production of Woods' signature clubs and balls. Although Woods continued to wear Nike apparel and footwear, he was no longer a Nike endorser for golf equipment.
Similarly, in 2013, the partnership was extended again for an undisclosed sum. It even remained intact even after Nike ended golf equipment production in 2016.
On the other hand, Nike has received a wide range of brand exposure for the better part of 20 years, teaming up with the legendary golfer.
Based on Apex Marketing, Nike profited around $22,540,000 in brand equity from Woods' on camera exposure during the final round of the Masters broadcast on CBS in 2019.
2. Jason Day
- Year Signed: 2017
- Deal Worth: $100 million
Jason Day signed a deal with Nike in 2017 after being sponsored by TaylorMade. It was reported to be a multi-year deal worth more than $10 million per year; however, the terms of the agreement were not officially disclosed.
As part of the deal, Day agreed to wear Nike apparel and shoes on the golf course and to use Nike golf balls. However, he was not required to use Nike golf clubs, as the company had previously exited the golf equipment business.
According to ESPN, Nike agreed to shutter its golf equipment business after finishing its fiscal year 2016 with $706 million in revenue, which was its worst year since 2011.
It never achieved a significant market share in the equipment business, but its golf clothing business is a market leader and profitable.
In addition to wearing Nike gear, Jason was featured in several of Nike's advertising campaigns, including a commercial that aired during the 2017 Masters tournament.
Day's deal with Nike was part of the company's broader strategy of signing top athletes in individual sports rather than sponsoring entire teams or leagues.
The company had previously signed deals with golfers such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, basketball player LeBron James, and tennis player Serena Williams.
When Day signed his deal with Nike, he was ranked as the world's third-ranked golfer. Throughout his sponsorship, he continued to perform well on the golf course, winning several tournaments and finishing as a runner-up in several major championships.
However, in 2020, it was announced that Day and Nike had parted ways, with Day reportedly becoming a free agent in terms of equipment and apparel sponsorships.
The reasons for the split were not officially disclosed, but it was reported that Nike was looking to cut back on its golf sponsorships in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, Day's deal with Nike was one of the most high-profile golf sponsorships and helped cement his status as one of the top players in the world.
1. Rory McIlroy
- Year Signed: 2013
- Deal Worth: $200 Million
Rory McIlroy signed a ten-year contract with Nike in January 2013, which was reported to be worth $250 million. The agreement was one of the most lucrative in golf, and McIlroy became one of Nike's highest-paid endorsers.
As part of the agreement, McIlroy agreed to wear Nike clothing and shoes, use Nike golf clubs, and appear in Nike advertising campaigns. Nike also created a "Rory Collection" of golf clothing and accessories for McIlroy.
McIlroy's switch to Nike golf clubs sparked some debate at the time, as he had previously used Titleist clubs, and some golf analysts speculated that the switch could negatively impact his performance on the course. However, McIlroy quickly adapted to the new clubs and continued to perform well.
McIlroy's contract with Nike also included several performance-based incentives, which meant he would receive additional bonuses if he won major championships or reached specific world golf rankings.
During the contract, McIlroy won four major championships (the 2014 Open Championship, the 2014 PGA Championship, the 2019 PGA Championship, and the 2021 PGA Championship) and held the world number one ranking for 95 weeks.
In April 2017, Nike agreed to sign a massive ten-year contract extension with Rory, as per CBS News.
In May 2017, Nike announced that it was exiting the golf equipment business, which meant that McIlroy was free to sign deals with other equipment manufacturers.
Eventually, he signed a deal with TaylorMade to use their golf clubs but continued wearing Nike apparel and shoes.
Overall, McIlroy's contract with Nike was one of the most lucrative and high-profile athlete endorsements in golf history. It helped McIlroy establish himself as one of the world's best golfers and cemented Nike's position as a significant player in the sport.
Besides, Rory's Nike endorsement was higher than Tiger Woods' 10-year Nike contract and David Beckham's lifetime deal with rival Adidas.
Most Nike golf endorsements are determined by multiplying the player's world ranking. The better the golfer plays, the higher the profile for Nike, with high rewards that include guaranteed base-level income.