McIlroy golfs’ most marketable star

Rory McIlroy has been identified as golf’s most marketable player under the age of 25.

Rory McIlroy is already one-up on some of his rivals heading into tomorrow’s opening Ryder Cup exchanges between Europe and the United States.
The gifted Northern Irishman has been identified by golf agents worldwide as the sport’s most marketable player under the age of 25.
McIlroy, 21, was a clear winner ahead of United States Ryder Cup rival Rickie Fowler. Agents representing more than 200 players were surveyed.
The US are untouchable when it comes to the most marketable golfers of all time though, with Tiger Woods in top spot above Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, in joint second.
The results are revealed in a report published by KPMG’s golf advisory practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa following three months’ research.
The survey – The Business of Professional Tournament Golf – was presented ahead of today’s Ryder Cup opening ceremony at Celtic Manor.
Key findings point to professional tournament golf being in a “relatively resilient” state despite the economic downturn, with “strong potential” for growth in Asia and South America, where golf will make its Olympic return at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
America’s PGA Tour remains the richest with total prize money of 196.4million euros in 2009, with the European Tour on 135million euros last year.
The report also estimates that players world-ranked among the top 50 almost double their prize money with off-course earnings including sponsorships and endorsements.
“The combination of significant media attention in Asia due to the success of professional golfers from countries such as Korea, and an increasingly affluent middle class in populous Asian markets such as China and India, could unleash a huge drive in the sport,” said the report’s chief Andrea Sartori.
“Equally, South America, and more particularly Brazil, which will host the 2016 Olympics, offers significant potential.
“With three in every 10,000 people playing golf in South America, and a total population of nearly 380 million, there appears to be a significant development opportunity to satisfy both local demand and international golf tourism demand.
“These developments suggest that the growth of professional tournament golf is expected to be fuelled by emerging economies rather than the traditional golfing markets of Europe and North America.
“However, these markets and their respective tours are still expected to remain the dominant forces in the global golf industry for the foreseeable future.”