The worst kept secret in golf was finally announced today as Rory McIlroy was revealed as Nike Golf‘s newest athlete after signing a multi-year deal.

He was welcomed to the Nike family by a selection of sporting superstars, including Wayne Rooney, Roger Federer and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, who is also in the field for this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

“I chose Nike for a number of reasons,” said McIlroy.

“It’s a company and a brand that resonates with me. It’s young, it’s athletic and it’s innovative. They are committed to being the best, as am I. Signing with Nike is another step towards living out my dream.”

McIlroy will use the new Nike VR_S Covert driver, VR Pro Blade Irons and VR Pro Limited Edition fairway woods.

“The world’s first ever cavity-back driver is awesome. I couldn’t be more excited about the new kit in my bag,” said McIlroy

“As soon as I hit it I knew it was going in the bag straight away.”

The 23-year-old will also play with Nike VR Pro wedges and a Nike Method prototype putter. He will use the 20XI golf ball, wear apparel from the Nike Golf Tour Performance Collection and sport new Nike Lunar Control footwear.

“I visited the Oven and I was seriously impressed with both the craftmanship of the Nike club engineers and and also how much R&D and product innovation goes on there. To be honest, I’ve been blown away by the attention to detail when it comes to product.”

The Ulsterman will now look to improve on a record-breaking 2012, which saw him win five tournaments around the world – including his second major at the PGA Championship – top both money lists and receive a host of post-season awards, including PGA and European Tour player of the year accolades.

Cindy Davis, President of Nike Golf, added: “Rory is an extraordinary athlete who creates an enormous excitement with his on-course performance while, at the same time, connecting with fans everywhere.

“He is the epitome of a Nike athlete and is joining the team during the most exciting time in Nike Golf history.

“We are looking forward to partnering with him to take his remarkable career to the next level.”