Former World No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy, born on May 4, 1989, in Hollywood, County Down, started playing golf at a young age and, since turning professional in 2007, has gone on to win four major tournaments, including the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014, the US Open in 2011, and The Open Championship in 2014.
McIlroy has won many competitions across the PGA and European Tours and has played multiple times for Europe in the Ryder Cup. In both his amateur and professional careers, McIlroy has represented Europe, Great Britain and Ireland.
McIlroy is among the world’s wealthiest golfers. In 2023, his predicted net worth is around US$170 million.
McIlroy first inked a contract with Nike at the beginning of 2013 for a clothing and equipment partnership, with the possibility of receiving up to US$125 million in exchange for using the American company’s gear. In a brand-new, US$100m contract signed in 2017, Nike and McIlroy extended their apparel collaboration for a further ten years.
Because Nike decided to leave the golf equipment industry in 2016, its deal with McIlroy has not included any equipment after the 2017 renewal of their partnership. Additionally, McIlroy is not allowed to have any sponsors on his Nike apparel as part of the agreement, giving Nike exclusive control over his wardrobe.
In 2022, McIlroy signed a new sponsorship agreement that made him the face of US-based, 2005-founded financial management business Workday.
In addition to having well-known players like Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, Davis Love III and Lauren Kim on board as brand ambassadors, the corporation has also sponsored numerous golf tournaments over the years.
As part of the partnership, McIlroy carries the Workday logo on his bag.
McIlroy became a brand ambassador of Swiss watchmaker OMEGA in 2013, having signed a multi-million-dollar sponsorship agreement. OMEGA is actively connected in sports, particularly golf. It also launched a special-edition Speedmaster ’57 dedicated to McIlroy’s success.
In 2019, McIlroy was seen sporting the Seamaster Ultra Light watch, which he co-designed with OMEGA.
McIlroy has been a member of Taylormade, an American sports equipment manufacturing company, since 2017, and the deal is reportedly worth US$10 million annually.
McIlroy agreed to a multi-year extension agreement in 2022, which sees him continuing to use the company’s clubs and ball during his games. He uses TaylorMade equipment in addition to appearing in its advertising campaigns and branded content.
In 2019, McIlroy and NBC Sports collaborated to introduce GolfPass, a digital subscription service designed to help golfers get better. The direct-to-consumer membership aims at providing opportunities to play more golf, extensive tools to improve any golfer’s skill, high-quality video content, and improved shopping and travel experiences.
In 2019, McIlroy collaborated with Optum, a company that offers healthcare services in the US and has business interests in technology and related services.
In 2011, McIlroy inked a lucrative contract with Santander, which saw the golfer serve as the face of the British bank’s advertisements. All of McIlroy’s shirts had the Spanish bank’s emblem on the left sleeve. McIlroy also starred in a TV ad campaign for Santander.
In 2015, McIlroy worked as a global brand ambassador for the American business as part of a multi-year sponsorship deal. As part of the agreement, McIlroy provided his endorsement for Bose headphones, portable speakers, and home and car audio systems.
Upper Deck became the exclusive home for McIlroy’s authentically-signed trading cards and mementos after he joined the company in 2012 as a brand ambassador. Throughout the duration of the contract, the two provided a line of genuine, hand-signed McIlroy souvenirs.
In 2012, McIlroy agreed to a multi-million-dollar contract with Audemars Piguet, a Le Brassus, Switzerland-based manufacturer of high-end watches and clocks.
- With its headquarters in Dublin, Mcllroy founded in 2019 Symphony Ventures — a venture capital firm that invests in startup companies. Symphony Ventures took off swiftly and attracted 14 significant investments in its first two years.
- Mcllroy made a significant investment in fitness tech firm Whoop. He frequently wore its fitness trackers on the grass while also promoting the brand online. Whoop makes fitness trackers that measure work, recovery and sleep. Golfers Justin Thomas and McIlroy both contributed to the company’s early funding rounds in 2020, when Whoop had a reported US$1.2bn valuation.
- Mcllroy has also invested in Future — a one-on-one digital fitness training platform that connects users with top instructors and tracks progress through an Apple watch.
- Mcllroy also made an investment in LetsGetChecked — a startup that delivers medical tests right to your door. Since clients could quickly order tests for COVID-19, or any other illness, the business greatly benefited from the epidemic. LetsGetChecked reportedly raised US$71 million in a recent investment round and is expected to continue increasing in value.
- Fellow golfing legend Tiger Woods is a partner of Mcllroy’s in his most recent venture — TMRW Sports. Founded by the two, according to Woods, TMRW Sports aims to use technology to offer new perspectives to sports. The two have also proposed to hold golf tournaments all around the globe. Benefitting from the development of sports entertainment is the company’s aim.
McIlroy has also invested in three other businesses:
- Troon, one of the largest golf management companies in the world with more than 640 courses under its management,
- Golf Genius Software, a provider of software to golf courses all over the world, and
- Kaia Health, based in Germany, which makes an application to help with the treatment of muscular pain issues.
Notable Charity Work
- In 2013, McIlroy established the Rory Foundation with the primary goal of supporting vulnerable and underprivileged children. When establishing the foundation, he cited his parents as an influence. From 2015 to 2019, the Rory Foundation served as the Irish Open’s official host venue. The Foundation ceased operations in 2019, however, and it was made known that McIlroy would press forward with a “private philanthropic policy”.
- McIlroy frequently participates in fundraising golf events, with the most recent one taking place in May 2020, which raised more than US$5 million for COVID-19 relief funding between him and Dustin Johnson.