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 group 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...