Report: McIlroy to wear New Balance in Rio

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Rory McIlroy's wardrobe will be sponsored in Rio, but he won't sport his usual Nike swoosh.

According to a report from the Irish Independent, McIlroy and the rest of the Irish Olympic team will be branded by New Balance.

Per Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey, Nike passed on the opportunity to sponsor the Irish team before the Ulsterman made his decision to play for Ireland over Great Britain.

“Just in case he declared for us, we went to Nike in the UK and told them we might have Rory. But they just dismissed us out of hand and now they regret it, I believe," Hickey said.

“I’m told that the Nike guys nearly collapsed when they heard what happened and that they’d missed a golden opportunity.

“Rory’s agent came to us and said, ‘What about Nike?’ And I said, ‘What about them? They had the opportunity and they missed it.’”

When reached by GolfChannel.com, Nike representatives declined comment.

The report, quoting a source, says the New Balance deal is worth between only £1-£2 million, or between roughly $1.5-$3 million. McIlroy's personal Nike deal, on the other hand, is believed to be worth $20 million a year.

“It would have been peanuts compared to what they are paying Rory," Hickey said.

Though he'll have to wear New Balance shirts, pants, hats and sport a non-branded Team Ireland bag, McIlroy will play be allowed to play Nike clubs and wear Nike shoes, which are exempt as "technical equipment."