World's top golfer splits from Dubai sponsor

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Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy poses with his trophy after winning the DP World Tour golf Championship in the Gulf emirate of Dubai in November, 2012. (Getty Images)

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy poses with his trophy after winning the DP World Tour golf Championship in the Gulf emirate of Dubai in November, 2012. (Getty Images)

Jumeirah Group said on Tuesday it will not be renewing its five-year sponsorship deal with Rory McIlroy, the world's top ranked golfer.

Amid reports that the Northern Ireland golf star is set to sign a deal with Nike, the Dubai-based luxury hotel company said in a statement that the decision had been jointly agreed.

Jumeirah signed a five-year deal with McIlroy when he was just 18 and was one of his first corporate sponsors.

The announcement allows McIlroy to pursue a lucrative endorsement contract, with reports suggesting that he will sign with Nike.

With the help of Jumeirah's sponsorship, Ulsterman McIlroy has risen to become the world’s number one golfer and a two-time Major winner.

In the same period, Jumeirah has doubled the number of hotels it operates around the world, a statement said.

Rory McIlroy has been an ardent advocate of Jumeirah’s hotels, staying in its properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, the Maldives, London and Rome, as well as participating in events with the company’s guests, partners and employees, the statement added.

McIlroy said: “Jumeirah became my first corporate sponsor when I turned professional back in 2007, and I would like to thank everyone at the company for their support in helping me become the player I am today.

"Celebrating my first professional win at the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic with the Jumeirah team was a particular highlight."

Gerald Lawless, president and Group CEO of Jumeirah Group, added: “We are extremely proud of Rory’s rise to the number one spot with Jumeirah as his principal sponsor since he turned professional.

"He has been a tremendous ambassador for our brand both as a consummate golfing professional and as a young man with a great future ahead of him.

"We wish him continued success and we will continue to share a passion for his achievements and to welcome him in each of our hotels.”

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