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Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler more marketable than Tiger Woods, survey says

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A survey of 43 marketers, tournament directors and media conducted by Sports Business Daily reveals that when it comes to the marketability of professional golfers, Tiger Woods is starting to lag behind a couple of young guns.

The trade magazine’s survey, Darren Rovell reports, found that Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler both sit ahead of their elder statesman Woods, ranking first and second, respectively. Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth round out the top five.

McIlroy obviously has been an advertisers’ darling since he blazed onto the pro golf scene, and his ascension to another top spot — this one in the Official World Golf Ranking — has made him that much more attractive from a marketing perspective. Winning two majors during a red hot streak last year certainly didn’t hurt matters, either.

The 25-year-old golfer shares many of the same partnerships Woods enjoys, including Nike, and even supplanted Tiger as the cover athlete on EA Sports’ golf video game, now entitled, “Rory McIlroy PGA Tour.”

Fowler, meanwhile, hasn’t enjoyed as much success just yet in his golf career as McIlroy — few have — but the 26-year-old’s freewheeling sense of style, whimsical personality (as evidenced by his role in the Golf Boys) and youthful appeal similarly makes him a coveted golfer on the marketing circuit.

Fowler of course has an endorsement deal with Puma — the supplier of his patented orange outfits on Sundays, as well as Red Bull, for whom Fowlerfrequently appears in viral video marketing campaigns. His “Dick Fowler, P.I.” series for Farmer’s Insurance in which he plays a mustachioed righter of golf course wrongs were universally praised as well.

Meanwhile, Woods’ saw his marketing appeal nosedive following his infidelity scandal, a humiliating blight on his reputation from which he never fully recovered. Rovell notes in his report, however, that Woods has recently inked new deals with Indian motorcycle, Hero MotoCorp and MusclePharm, so it’s not like the 39-year-old isn’t still attractive to advertisers.

Further, the affable attitude and genial demeanor that has been on display this week leading up to the Masters has shown a side of Woods rarely seen, perhaps making him even more desirable to advertisers.

But in the end, McIlroy reigns supreme. The young superstar may insist golf isn’t a job, but given his many lucrative endorsements, it’s a good gig if you can get it.

(photo credit: Sky Sports/Twitter)