Conor McGregor has the potential to pull in $5m-a-year
Conor McGregor's meteoric rise to the top of the UFC will see him become one of the wealthiest sport stars Ireland has ever produced
Mick O’Keeffe, CEO of Leading Irish PR firm PSG, believes that as McGregor's popularity and the appeal of the UFC rise in tandem with each other, there is a potential for high earnings.
The 27-year-old does stand to lose out monetarilly on the fact that he is not fighting Jose Aldo tomorrow night at the MGM Grand but does stand to earn a lot of money if he can get the better of Chad Mendes tomorrow night.
O'Keeffe said: "McGregor is a huge marketing asset to UFC, which is one of the most tuned in sports associations in the world as it is a modern sports body, created to capitalise on every commercial avenue possible. McGregor fills stadia, his Irishness is a massive selling point and he is a poster boy of UFC.
"In the annual PSG Sports Sentiment Index research, McGregor is in the top five most admired Irish sportspersons, so his star is rising hugely in this market.
"McGregor has earned over $600,000 in fight prize money so far, but out of the Octagon his earning capacity is significant and could catapult him into the mega rich list. His fight money isn’t overly impressive compared to other sports or the sports rich list and the likes or Mayweather or Messi. In UFC terms, he still comes a good distance behind UFC legends such as Bisping, Silva and St Pierre.
"McGregor has an impressive suite of commercial arrangements, notably Reebok, where he has a stand lone deal as well as the official UFC partnership with the brand. Other sponsors are Volvo and Bud Light. However, it is from here on that McGregor will start to make serious money through endorsements. Crucially, he has cracked the States, the home of sports marketing.
"Dana White, UFC president has claimed that McGregor may be "the most marketable fighter in the world" and behind Katie Taylor, McIlroy and O’Driscoll, he is one of the most talked about sports stars in Ireland.
"McGregor was on track for a really big pay day if the Aldo fight had gone ahead, due to pay per view money linked to his UFC contract whereby he gets a share of TV money and his fight purse.
"His earnings could have run into the millions from the Aldo fight but are likely to be less due to the injury the Brazilian sustained despite the continued interest in the fight against Mendes, which again illustrates McGregor’s massive appeal.
"PSG estimates his endorsements to rise to at least €1m a year and with potential to go much further, injury and performance permitting. When you add fight money, which is rising all the time, and other revenue streams, specifically TV money, it could be many times more than this and over $5m a year."