SBD/April 11, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

McIlroy Has Bright Future As Endorser Despite Sunday Collapse At The Masters

McIlroy finished 10 shots behind Charl Schwartzel after entering Sunday with lead
Golfer Rory McIlroy "may have dramatically plummeted down the leaderboard" yesterday at The Masters after leading by four strokes heading into the final round, but his early success at the tournament "looks set to catapult him into golf's multimillion-earning elite," according to Kennedy & Ellis of the Irish INDEPENDENT. The "affable young star's coming of age on the sport's biggest stage will push him to the top of golf's pay league." McIlroy is worth an estimated US$11.5M "after a number of high-profile wins," and experts last night predicted that the 21-year-old "would soon be signing seven-figure endorsement deals." Pembroke Communications Managing Dir Michael O'Keeffe: "He's probably making €2m plus in sponsors and endorsements. ... When you add to the sponsorships and endorsements to bonuses he'll have from his sponsors, plus the revenue he's going to generate, this will be at least five million. He's become a global superstar. He is hugely marketable and hugely sought after." McIlroy held at least a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds at The Masters, and Kennedy & Ellis note that success "means he will be headhunted by sports firms -- and other companies which will be attracted to his clean-cut image -- to front their brand" (Irish INDEPENDENT, 4/11).

YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS: In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura wrote McIlroy was among several players in contention at The Masters who sported "obscure logos" on their hats and shirts. Jumeirah, an "international resort chain," is located on McIlroy's hat and shirt. He and Lee Westwood, among others, "wear an AP on their shirt sleeves, which stands for watchmaker Audemars Piguet." Also, K.J. Choi wore logos for mobile-service provider SK Telecom and apparel company SGF Superior on his hat and shirt, respectively, while Jason Day's hat supported Burner, "a model of TaylorMade golf clubs" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/10).
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