Nike deal BLOWS UP for LIV Golf team but new apparel sponsor is named

Smash GC signs new apparel deal but it's not with Nike as per a recent LIV Golf rumour. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 26 Jul 2023
Nike deals BLOWS UP for LIV Golf team but new apparel sponsor is named

Smash GC is once again back in the headlines on LIV Golf this week as Brooks Koepka's side has announced a new apparel deal. Only it's not with Nike as per a recent shock rumour on social media. 

According to a Twitter account (LIV Golf Enthusiast) that regularly covers all the latest news on the Saudi-bankrolled circuit, a rumour was posted back in May that Nike was in negotiations with Smash GC in a whopping $2 billion deal

Furthermore, the rumour claimed how the sports giant wanted to transform the team into Swoosh GC to reflect their famous logo. 

Team captain and five-time major champion Koepka is already a Nike Golf ambassador, as too Matt Wolff, who also plays on the team.

That fuelled speculation further. Although Koepka and Wolff recently had a big bust-up at LIV Golf London. 

Koepka said he has "given up" on Wolff. 

Wolff said he was heartbroken.

It's now understood Smash GC are looking to replace Wolff on the team, with one PGA Tour star and major champion the favourite for a move.

Jason Kokrak and Koepka's brother Chase Koepka also play for Smash GC, but they are not sponsored by Nike. 

Back in May, the LIV Golf Enthusiast account tweeted: 

"It's happening. Despite the sneers, jeers & feeble attemps to own me in the quote tweets Nike is in negotiations with Smash GC & yes we're talking the 2 Billion dollar range. The potential rebrand would be Team Swoosh or Swoosh GC. Team Nike was ruled out as being too bland. Swoosh is being built as it's own brand & the Nike "swoosh" logo will be subtle & understated on Swoosh merchandise on most gear yet still prominent on pure Nike products. These are very exciting times for LIV Golf. You laughed at 2 Billion? You know who else laughs at 2 Billion? Nike & Captain Smash Brooks Koepka."

Fast forward to today after The Open, and the rumoured Nike deal is off the cards. 

At least for now.

It's not all bad news for Smash GC though as they have snapped up one apparel partner in the shape of Bald Head Blues

Yes, Bald Head Blues, an island lifestyle brand based out of North Carolina with less than 1,000 followers on Twitter. 

Koepka and Wolff remain in their deals with Nike, it should be noted, hence why only Kokrak and Chase Koepka were shown in Smash GC's latest graphic on Twitter. 

The popular Flushing It account on Twitter believes time will tell if there is any more to the previously rumoured Nike deal, or equivalent. 

"This deal is interesting because it’s only for the 2023 season and only Chase and Kokrak currently wear team gear. I assume this is because it leaves the opportunity open for a further partnership when Brooks’ deal with Nike is up. Wolff is also currently contracted to Nike."

Another LIV Golf fan account by the name LIV Golf Updates believes smaller-named brands are wise to get involved with LIV teams ahead of Saudi PIF's shock merger with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, which will ultimately transform the world of professional golf as we know it. 

That account tweeted today: 

"A lot of people making jokes about Smash GC's clothing sponsor because they are (for now) a lesser known brand and there were rumors of Nike Sponsorships. Worth remembering here that late last year the tour informed all sponsors they must sever all relationships with #LIVGolf players and must not to further business with LIV, LIV teams, and LIV players. This is the ideal time for smaller brands to sign partnerships with LIV teams. With a framework agreement for a merger there is no downside whatsoever. If the deal goes through the popularity of their brands could skyrocket and they will be able to leverage their existing partnerships into more opportunities. If the deal doesn't go through they still got in early,have some of golf's biggest stars representing their brand, and didn't have to compete with Nike, Adidas, TM, Callaway, etc. So not only are smaller brands that don't currently have PGA Tour sponsored players the ONLY available option for new LIV partnerships, these brands also see this as the perfect opportunity to get in while prices are lower and the opportunity is endless. Brands like OKX, Extracurricular Clothing, Seamless Digital, Akron, and now @BaldHeadBlues are wise to take advantage of this unique transitory time in the game."

It remains to be seen whether any big-name brands get involved with LIV Golf anytime soon, but for now, they are all keeping their hands in their pockets until official news is confirmed of Saudi Arabia's merger with the PGA Tour. 

Take me to more golf news!