9 Jan 2013

Oakley launches legal action to try and retain Rory McIlroy

10:22 am on 9 January 2013

American sunglasses maker Oakley has launched legal action to try to retain its sponsorship of world number one golfer Rory McIlroy who is set to become the new face of sportswear manufacturer Nike.

U.S. PGA champion McIlroy is poised to sign a 10-year deal withNike, reported to worth nearly 300 million dollars.

Nike is set to supply the Northern Irishman's clubs and have its name or logo on his clothing in an exclusive deal.

However, Oakley, owned by Italy's Luxottica, is challenging the move and started legal action in its home state of California last month.

The Dubai-based hotel company Jumeirah Group had confirmed earlier its five-year sponsorship with 2011 U.S. Open champion McIlroy had ended.

Nike is hoping a partnership with the clean-cut McIlroy will help it to move on after it dropped disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong last year over his doping scandal.