McIlroy, a Northern Ireland native, decided to declare to Team Ireland for the Olympics as opposed to Team Great Britain. At the 100 Days to Rio presentation in Dublin on Wednesday, Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey said that they originally approached Nike to outfit the Irish team prior to McIlroy’s declaration. Nike declined, so Boston-based New Balance swooped in.
Despite McIlroy’s reported $100-million, 10-year sponsorship deal with Nike, he will have to wear New Balance apparel at the Rio Games, which run Aug. 5-21. However, he will still be able to wear Nike shoes and can use his Nike golf clubs, which are considered “technical gear.”
In March, Nike unveiled an iteration of its Metcon 2 training shoe inspired by spring and McIlroy’s training for the storied Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga., earlier this month.
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, the United States unveiled its closing ceremony uniforms created by Ralph Lauren, Team Great Britain showed off its Adidas by Stella McCartney competition uniforms, and Team France debuted its Lacoste apparel and shoes.