By Kimie Bunyasaranand
January 08, 2013

Rory McIlroy The Jumeirah Group is not renewing its sponsorship of Rory McIlroy, allowing the golfer to move forward with a deal with Nike. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

The Jumeirah Group, a luxury hotel company in the United Arab Emirates, is not renewing its sponsorship deal with the world's no. 1 golfer, Rory McIlroy, reports the Associated Press. The decision comes amidst rumors that McIlroy will sign an endorsement contract with Nike worth an estimated twenty million dollars.

Jumeirah signed McIlroy's deal when he was 18 as one of his first corporate sponsors. McIlroy expressed his gratitude towards the company in a statement:

"I would like to thank everyone at the company for their support in helping me become the player I am today," McIlroy said Tuesday. "I have enjoyed five very exciting and successful years with Jumeirah and will always have great memories of my time with the company. Celebrating my first professional win at the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic with the Jumeirah team was a particular highlight."

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