Tuesday 21 October 2014

World's 'most marketable' golfer Rory McIlroy set to rake in €40m annually in commercial deals

Published 11/08/2014 | 17:18

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds up the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds up the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, celebrates with his father Gerry, after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, celebrates with his father Gerry, after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, speaks to the media during a news conference after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, speaks to the media during a news conference after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club

Four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy is set to land improved commercial deals that could see the Irish golfer earn in excess of €40m per annum.

In the early hours of this morning in Kentucky, McIlroy won his fourth Major with a one-shot victory at Valhalla and his commercial value is set to soar as his career goes from strength to strength.

The 25 year-old now joins the likes of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi, Lebron James and  Ronaldo as elite sportspeople who can command the biggest sponsorship deals available in sport.

"Rory McIlroy’s commercial deals are currently estimated to be worth €20 - €25 per annum, with Nike accounting for almost half of this, but with his elevation to the top of the tree of global superstars, it should rapidly increase over time," says Mick O'Keeffe, Managing Director of Pembroke Communications.

"Sponsors will trip over themselves to be associated with him and win bonuses kick in. He could earn in excess of €40m alone in commercial partnerships per annum in the coming years."

While O'Keeffe concedes that McIlroy is now the "most marketable Irish sportsperson of all-time", last year he fell well behind the likes of Katie Taylor or Brian O‘Driscoll in the popularity stakes at home. While recent success has changed this dramatically, it is his popularity in the US which will prove to be extremely lucrative for the Holywood native.

"McIlroy’s popularity in the United States is the key as this is where the big decisions are still made from a sports marketing perspective."

"His future earnings and potential marketability now surpasses the likes of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods and he is really the number one sports marketing asset in golf in the world and there is a huge amount of money in golf as it is a global game.

"His decision to play for Ireland in the next Olympics was astute as it enhances his marketability."

McIlroy collected $1.8m (€1.3m) in winnings for his tournament victory at Valhalla.

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