Whom Does Nike Sponsor?
As one of the world's sports marketing giants, Nike sponsors a significant number of professional athletes, Olympic athletes, collegiate and professional teams. While the list is extremely long, a few of Nike's highest-paid endorsers in 2014 were Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal, according to the sports website TSMPlug.com.
In addition to its long list of athletes, Nike sponsors many college athletic programs. For example, in 2013, the company sponsored 52 of the 68 teams competing in the NCAA basketball tournament, according to the Sports Business Daily. Among those were powerhouses Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Florida and Georgetown.
Rounding out its list of highest paid Nike athletes in 2014, TSMPlug.com adds Rory McIlroy, Derek Jeter, LeBron James, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Cristiano Ronaldo. In the NFL ranks, Nike sponsors such stars as Justin Tuck, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Steve Hutchinson, Jason Witten, Matt Ryan, Troy Polamalu, Ladainian Tomlinson, Desean Jackson, Drew Brees and Larry Fitzgerald, according to Athlete Promotions.
In 2014, Nike also re-upped its long-term contract with USA Track & Field, according to Outside Magazine. It has also enjoyed a long sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee, current as of 2014.
Nike also boasts a large roster of LPGA and PGA athletes. Among them are Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettiersen, Kristie Smith, Charl Schwartzel, Nick Watney, Francesco Molinari, Kevin Chappel, Kyle Stanley, Scott Brown and more.