We thought we were done with all the soft-focus features about Rory McIlroy's ascent to No. 1, and frankly, we wouldn't keep writing about them if they didn't keep working. Curse you, clever marketers! You're playing on our emotions!
In the past few weeks, we had a commercial from Nike about McIlroy's intense workout regimen, and then one from Bose about his preparation for the Masters. And now comes another one from Nike, called "Ripple," that risks being terribly contrived but is actually quite poignant.
The commercial shows a young McIlroy (an actor) following Woods' dizzying success early in his career, which in turn inspires the lad's own remarkable progression in Northern Ireland.
The more time passes, the closer McIlroy gets to Woods, until the climactic sequence when the two are teeing off alongside one another in the tournament. That part is true to life, although reality is a little messier. There is no mention of the questionable state of Woods' game as he makes his latest return to golf this week,
Nonetheless, Nike gets the broad strokes right. Have a look:
The commercial is particularly relevant considering how, last week, Rory McIlroy revealed to the New York Times that he wrote a letter to Tiger Woods as an ambitious 9-year-old, warning Woods of his impending challenge:
"No one can recall the note's precise wording, but its general thrust, as Brian McIlroy, Rory's uncle and godfather, paraphrased in an email, put Woods on notice: I'm coming to get you. This is the beginning. Watch this space.'
"When I met McIlroy, now the world's No. 1 golfer, in New York in December, I asked him about the letter. A lot of those memories have kind of blurred together,' he said somewhat sheepishly. But, yeah, it went something like that.'
"McIlroy's Tiger letter' most likely never got to its intended addressee, but by now its message surely has. McIlroy has already won the U.S. Open, the British Open and two P.G.A. Championships, becoming just the third golfer, after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, to win four majors by the age of 25."