Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 1/8/13

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland smiles during a practice round prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 5, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The Jumeirah Group is not renewing its five-year sponsorship deal with top-ranked Rory McIlroy amid expectations that the Northern Ireland golf star will sign with Nike next week. The global luxury hotel company based in the United Arab Emirates signed the deal with McIlroy when he was 18 and was one of his first corporate sponsors. ''I would like to thank everyone at the company for their support in helping me become the player I am today,'' McIlroy said Tuesday in a statement. ''I have enjoyed five very exciting and successful years with Jumeirah and will always have great memories of my time with the company. Celebrating my first professional win at the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic with the Jumeirah team was a particular highlight.'' Gerald Lawless, president and CEO of Jumeirah Group, described McIlroy as a ''tremendous ambassador for our brand, both as a consummate golfing professional and as a young man with a great future ahead of him.'' The announcement allows McIlroy to pursue a lucrative endorsement contract, with strong indications that he will sign with Nike in a deal that one industry observer estimated at $20 million a year. That would give Nike golf's two biggest stars in McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who has been with the sportswear company since he turned pro in 1996. In October, McIlroy cut ties with Acushnet Co., which had supplied him with Titleist and FootJoy gear since he turned pro five years ago.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jeter plans to fire multiple Marlins special assistants

Carmelo Anthony sets up YouCaring page to help people in Puerto Rico

Kyle Shanahan takes jab at controversial pass interference call

Le'Veon Bell on precipice of amazing Steelers record

Andre Ward: A champion’s career comes to a close

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tigers will not retain manager Brad Ausmus

15 key questions for NFL Week 3

Why USC-Cal will be best CFB game this weekend

NFL won’t rule out Ezekiel Elliott being suspended for Week 3

Players with most to prove heading into NBA season

CC Sabathia not worried about booze-fueled celebrations

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker