Jason Day Q&A: His move to Nike
January 05, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Jason Day, who idolized Tiger Woods growing up, recently signed with Nike. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- When Jason Day was little, he idolized Tiger Woods. Part of those dreams of being like his hero included wearing the infamous swoosh. This week that dream becomes a reality. PGATOUR.COM sat down for a casual chat with Jason and asked him about his new apparel deal with Nike.
Q: Tell us what it means to you to become a Nike guy.
JASON DAY: Yeah, it's probably a little bit of a different look. It's a massive difference. A lot of people probably haven't got used to the sight of me actually wearing the swoosh and being able to wear Nike stuff but it is great. When I was 16, 17, I was wearing the stuff, and I was so happy because that's what Tiger was wearing. This is an exciting time because I feel like I'm coming into the peak of my career and I'm able to play some of my best golf and also wear the best brand in golf sporting apparel-wise. I'm looking forward to the future.
Q: Have you gotten used to looking in the mirror yet?
DAY: Maybe not quite yet but it feels good (laughs). It is the most iconic sporting brand out there. Everyone knows the swoosh and “Just Do It” and everything associated with Nike and it is an honor to be a part of it really. I remember growing up in junior golf, a lot of us wore Nike stuff because of Tiger. We wanted to be like him. One guy used to have the swoosh all over his body including a swoosh earring. He would hole par putts and fist pump like Tiger. We grew up doing things like that and to now be actually part of the Nike team -- it’s really cool.
Q: Have you been welcomed into the fold by your fellow Nike guys, like Tiger and Rory?
DAY: Everyone has been great. I had dinner with (Nike co-founder) Phil Knight last week, which was pretty awesome. It was just me and him and it was really cool to meet the man that started it all. I am kind of proud and even a little humbled to have them step up to support me. Obviously I was with them as a young kid and moved elsewhere, but they have come back and shown great support and chosen me, and that feels very special.
Q: When you got the word that it was a possibility was it hard to not show your excitement? Did you have your negotiating poker face on?
DAY: Ha-ha. You have to try to play it that way. We knew contracts were going to come up and the end of last year and we were just hoping to do the best we could. We did our due diligence and looked around but when Nike came in they were like – just give us five days – and they came to the table motivated and it just made me really feel wanted and special. It was great.
Q: Do you have a favorite shoe yet?
DAY: Stefan Janoski’s for sure. They’re a skateboarding shoe. And High Top Air Force 1’s are probably my favorites. They’re the best in my eyes, but I have all sorts of Nike shoes now and it’s going to be great going through them and wearing them all.
Q: Where you grew up in Australia, the brand was often pronounced as a one syllable Nike rather than two syllable Nik-e. Have you trained your brain to get it right?
DAY: Luckily I have been in the USA long enough to get it right and I try to help my Aussie mates be the same.
Q: Will we see you and Tiger and Rory in matching outfits at any stage?
DAY: Ha-ha-ha. That could be entertaining for some, I guess, but in all seriousness I have some ideas I’d like to throw Nike’s way about style. Obviously I like tighter-fitting stuff while Tiger likes the more traditional golf clothes. Rory likes it a bit tighter but still looser than mine. I want things painted on me even though I don’t have the right body for it yet (laughs). So I have some ideas and hopefully I can change the way golf is looked at.
Q: So you are already thinking your own brand or stamp?
DAY: Not so much that but just hoping maybe we can break down the barrier of golf clothes a little bit. Golf clothes can kind of be the same look regardless of where they are from. I’d love for it to be a bit more “street.” Maybe look to come up with golf clothes with a really tight fit. You need the balance between style and comfort and Nike does a great job at that. Hopefully we can work together and come up with some new ideas as well.
Q: Will we see you in Sunday Red? Or any sort of signature color?
DAY: Ha-ha. No, I will leave the Sunday Red for Tiger. He’s earned that. Maybe I can wear it on Saturdays? Ha-ha. No I’ll wear whatever is comfortable. Whatever helps me win.