McIlroy and Mickelson Generate Major Impact for Sponsors

RORY_MCILROY_INTERVIEWWe all know who leads the PGA Tour money list at any given time, but what golfer earns the most on-screen exposure for his sponsors? According to a recent Forbes article, Rory McIlroy was the biggest winner for his sponsors, generating $16.2 million in on-air time in 2011 according to brand analysis and research firm Repucom. The company tracks the time a sponsors’ logo appears on screen during each golf tournament television broadcast. Repucom then calibrates the exposure numbers along with the Nielsen ratings to come up with a final media value projection.

McIlroy earned roughly $8 million in global prize money in 2011 and also garnered an estimated $7 million off the course from sponsors. His total earnings nearly matched the TV exposure that his sponsor’s logos’ received throughout the season.

The most watched golf events are typically the four major championships. These events also typically provide the most bang for the buck in terms of TV time for sponsors. With massive audiences tuned in for events like The Masters, players like South African Louis Oosthuizen can generate tremendous exposure for their associated businesses when in contention.

Oosthuizen was ranked second on the PGA Tour in media exposure among golfers in 2012 through the Players Championship with $6.3 million. The majority of his TV time was due to his runner-up finish in a thrilling playoff at the 2012 Masters in Augusta, Georgia.

The leading player so far in generating media on the PGA Tour in 2012 is Phil Mickelson. Phil also played well at the Masters and has five top ten finishes so far this season.

Mickelson sponsor KPMG is leveraging Phil’s popularity to help promote their KPMG Family for Literacy program. Every time someone purchase’s Phil’s new blue hat, KPMG’s Family for Literacy will donate 3 books to help children in need. To learn more about the program, visit KPMG’s Family for Literacy website.

Golf Business Showing Signs of Life

GOLF_HOLE_MARKERThe game of golf is back, in a business sense, for the first time in five years according to a recent Bloomberg report. Sales of golf clubs, golf balls and all other golf equipment grew 1.3 percent last year, which reversed a slide since 2007, said Tom Stine, co-founder of Golf Datatech LLC, which provides statistics on golf-related sales.

Taking advantage of their new equipment purchases, golfers have taken to the course lately in larger numbers with the number of rounds played on American golf courses climbing for four straight months through February. The mild winter weather throughout much of the country has certainly helped, along with a drop in unemployment figures and a slowly strengthening economy.

Rounds played throughout the United States dropped over the past few years as unemployment rose to 10 percent in 2009. This year, the country’s unemployment rate has dropped to 8.3 percent in January and February, while more than 220,000 jobs were added per month in December, January and February.

Even private golf clubs are finally starting to see signs of recovery. In 2011, the largest owner and operator of private golf clubs, Dallas-based ClubCorp, sold its most memberships since 2005. The company, which operates golf courses in 26 states, bought four more courses last year and is looking for more opportunities in 2012.