Nelly Korda signs Nike apparel deal — and it’s just the start of big changes
When the calendar turns to January, gearheads immediately shift their attention to equipment signings. Club contracts officially expire, giving way to new gear and official announcements from major manufacturers. It’s golf’s version of the baseball hot stove.
While the PGA Tour has generally been the place for groundbreaking signings year in and year out, the LPGA is on the verge of wresting that title away.
Two of the LPGA’s biggest names, Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson, will be on the move this year.
Korda made her apparel deal official on Saturday with a social media post confirming a multi-year agreement with Nike Golf, putting an end to her partnership with Swedish clothing company J.Lindeberg. Nike Golf exited the hard-goods space in 2016, but they remain a major force in the equipment apparel space on Tour with staff that features Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day.
The photos Korda posted on social media showed her wearing a Nike pullover and glove. But the hat, arguably the most lucrative advertising space on a pro golfer, was noticeably absent. So, too, was the head of the golf club, which was cropped out of the photo.
According to multiple GOLF.com sources, the missing hat and club head are signs of bigger things to come on the equipment front. The deal hasn’t been made official, but all signs point to Korda signing a multi-year equipment deal with TaylorMade Golf in the coming weeks. At the moment, Korda is an equipment free agent after her bio was removed from Titleist’s website. Outside of Danielle Kang, the 24-year-old was the highest-profile brand ambassador on Titleist’s LPGA staff.
What’s interesting is Korda might not be the only marquee LPGA name TaylorMade inks.
Henderson has yet to announce her new equipment deal, but as GOLF.com’s Ryan Barath pointed out, the Canadian phenom quietly parted ways with Ping — a brand she’d been attached to since junior golf — and appears set to consummate a larger deal with TaylorMade beyond the ball and glove agreement she signed last year.
TaylorMade has gone to a quality-over-quantity mindset with their Tour staff over the last 5-6 years, reducing their enormous stable to just 13 pros, including Woods, McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler. With Korda and Henderson in the fold, TaylorMade would immediately boast the No. 2 and No. 7 ranked golfers on the women’s side as well.
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