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GOLF Magazine Asks Buffalo Founder Rich Katz About McIlroy’s Marketing Potential
November 14th 2012 - Will Rory McIlroy follow Tiger Woods as golf's next Billion-Dollar Man?

As early as 2000, branding and marketing experts were anointing Tiger Woods the Billion- Dollar Man. He would one day reach a net worth of 10 figures, they predicted, an accomplishment even Michael Jordan hadn't achieved. "The easy answer is that if anybody can [reach $1 billion], it's Tiger," his agent Mark Steinberg said that summer.

And it was Tiger. According to Forbes, Woods cracked $1 billion in career earnings in September 2009, shortly before revelations of his extramarital affairs caused most of his sponsors to flee. Three years later, we live in a post-Tiger era of sorts. Woods is neither the game's best player nor its most marketable brand. Rory McIlroy is. He's the personable, fresh-faced anti-Tiger, and he'll pick up where Woods left off, bathing in corporate marketing money, with enough sponsors to make a NASCAR driver blush. Which raises the tantalizing question: Can McIlroy be golf's next Billion-Dollar Man?

"Many endorsers come across as [just being] in it for the paycheck," adds Rich Katz, founder of golf marketing company Buffalo Communications. "Rory and his Northern Ireland roots don't scream ‘overt commercialism,' and his youthful effervescence makes him an authentic pitchman."

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