Rory McIlroy Could Rival Tiger Woods’ $1 Bil Endorsement Career, Experts Predict

Rory McIlroy - U.S. Open Congressional Country Club - 2011
Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Before this weekend’s US Open win, he had four sponsors totaling around $10 million, including golf equipment maker Titleist and sunglass maker Oakley.

NEW YORK – After his record-breaking US Open win this weekend, 22-year-old golfer Rory McIlroy could be on his way to draw a sponsorship portfolio comparable to that of Tiger Woods’ $1 billion career earnings, the New York Post reported, citing experts.

"The golf and sports marketing communities are hungering for that next golf superstar and want to anoint someone right away," sports marketing expert Kevin Adler, president of Engage Marketing, told the Post.

"Rory is humble and cracks an easy smile without being such a robo-golfer about it all," he added in a reference to Woods. "With a few more big wins, Rory can easily start monetizing his image in huge way by doing more US tournaments."

Before the US Open, McIlroy had four sponsors totaling around $10 million, some of which are set to expire in the coming months, industry sources told the Post. The sponsors are golf equipment maker Titleist, sunglass maker Oakley, which has congratulated the golfer in an ad in USA Today, Dubai-based hotel chain Jumeirah and luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet. His agent is International Sports Management.

The paper said experts expect auto makers, such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and smartphone companies, such as Samsung, LG and AT&T, to eye possible McIlroy deals. Smartphone purveyors are also expected to line up to sponsor McIlroy.

"He's the image sponsors want for the young end of the luxury market,” said Adler. “He's the leader of the young guns influencing the game today."