Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy 'brand' overtakes Pepsi and BMW

By Mark O'Regan

Rory McIlroy is now one of the best known sporting personalities on the planet - and across the globe he has a higher profile than a range of the world's most iconic brand names.

According to new research, McIlroy's popularity is now higher than the three main global brands he represents.

The world's number one golfer has overtaken Nike, Bose, and the Swiss watchmaker Omega, according to a scientific study.

Data analytics company, Adoreboard, a tech start-up based in Queen's University Belfast, claims that McIlroy's online brand reputation is soaring.

He is just behind Coca Cola, but ahead of Pepsi and BMW.

The study tracked McIlroy for more than six months - since the time he called off his engagement to the tennis star Caroline Wozniacki in May - when his ratings actually dropped.

His Open success in July, and September's Ryder Cup triumphs saw his popularity and international recognition factor soar.

Just over a week ago he surged ahead of the sound system manufacturers Bose, and globally now has a higher recognition factor than the Omega, and Nike, brands.

His win at the US PGA was also a major boost for his international profile.

His decision to declare for the Republic of Ireland instead of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the 2016 Olympics, resulted in mixed emotions across the world according to the study.

A spokesman for Adoreboard said this research has confirmed McIlroy as one of sport's "undisputed superstars" with a brand name to match his growing status.

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