Originally Posted by West Coast Ace
..For what the Rory contract is allegedly for, Nike would have to shutter the entire tennis operation.
I'm not sure the numbers are quite what they seem with these sort of deals. Federer is a far more known sporting entity and better known per se globally.... the devil is in how these deal are arranged. Rory might have signed for 10 years for a figure like $200m... that would make his deal $20m/yr which is not far off, perhaps less, than what Federer is touted to be getting.*
Golf marketing is also a longer gameplan than tennis given how long the careers are, and it's typical for players to go in and out of medium term (1-3 years) form much moreso than a sport like tennis. I would bet that the up-front deals golf players get are actually smaller than what the top tennis guys get except the golf guys have bigger incentives so they can smoke it in a good year. Golf imagery has little sex appeal or street value unlike tennis so results are more directly linked to marketing clout than tennis. So Rory's deal could, in effect be "theoretical money" which he actually still has to earn through performances.
Additionally - having been privy to the details of a sporting (team) sponsorship deal some years ago from the brand side - some numbers you see touted in the media about sponsorship deals are certainly best-case scenario numbers which apply if
the team/player achieves X, Y and Z. Many football (soccer) team sponsorship deals work like this - a performance based amount. I don't see why other sports wouldn't adopt similar thinking give or take any sport-specific nuances and operating practices.
Nike golf revenue in 2011 was $623 million (4% down on the previous year)... Another of Nike's affiliate brands, Converse, had over $1.1 billion. Golf isn't as big as you think and certainly not big enough to be writing Rory a cheque for $200m. Nike in it's entirety had revenue of $20.9 billion in 2011. Golf is less than 3% of their revenue.
Nike tennis is not
an affiliate so their numbers are harder to come by. Given how many more people play tennis and how many more tennis clubs there are than golf courses globally I wouldn't be surprised if Nike tennis was bigger than golf. A look at their top sponsored players indicates they have money to spend - either because the business is big or because they put more of their marketing budget into player sponsorship (as a ratio).
(*all things considered we have no way of knowing how accurate his supposed endorsement fee is - it may be he gets another $2m every time he wins a major or re-reaches the #1 ranking - it wouldn't surprise me at all given how creative IMG deals famously can be)