Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Play Nothing But… Hole for Nike

By Bob Marshall 

After the Tiger Woods sex scandal broke, it was a bit surprising that Nike stayed loyal to the face of its golf line. But, by offering 23-year-old phenom Rory McIlroy a 10-year $250 million contract, is it possible that Tiger’s days may be waning? At the very least, Nike Golf is no longer dependent on the success of Woods to carry its brand for the next decade.

A new spot from W+K finds Tiger playing the “old guy,” challenging McIlroy to a chip shot contest reminiscent of McDonald’s classic Michaell Jordan/Larry Bird “Nothing but Net” campaign from the early 90s.  “No Cup is Safe” depicts Tiger as the wily veteran, with Rory as the new, young face of the PGA nipping at Woods’ heels. To be honest, it’s a bit uncomfortable to watch, as I’m sure it was for Tiger to shoot it. The sun may be setting all too soon on Tiger’s career, while Rory’s is just beginning. Perhaps Tiger offered some advice to Rory on set, some advice that no one bothered to give him 14 years ago when he was in the same situation as Rory is now.

It’s hard to see this spot as anything other than a “passing of the old guard,” which is probably what Nike asked for. It’s cute, but full of sadness and hope at the same time. Perhaps I’m making this a bigger deal than it actually is, but, as a fan of both athletes, it’s hard to imagine a world where these guys can coexist at the top of the professional golf ladder. Credits after the jump.

W+K Portland
Creative Directors Don Shelford (AD) + Tyler Whisnand (CW)
Copywriter Shaine Edwards
Art Director Derrick Ho
Producer Felicia Glover
Account Team Scott Sullivan + Ken Smith
Executive Creative Directors Susan Hoffman + Mark Fitzloff
Agency Executive Producer Ben Grylewicz

Production Company Hungry Man
Director Wayne McClammy
Executive Producer Dan Duffy
Editors Matthew Hilber + Eric Hill

Music+Sound Company Search Party

Song “Jungle Jump”

Producer Sara Matazzo

Mix Company Eleven Sound

Mixer Jeff Payne

Producer Caroline O’Sullivan