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Rory McIlroy announces Dubai Duty Free as Irish Open sponsor

By Claire Williamson

Rory McIlroy has announced Dubai Duty Free as the title sponsor of the Golf Irish Open hosted by the Holywood golfer's foundation.

Taking place at one of golf's iconic venues,  Royal County Down Golf Club from May 28 – 31, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will see McIlroy play the role of tournament host on behalf of his charitable foundation. 

The world number one golfer made the announcement via a video message - in which he said he was "very proud" to be bringing the golfing event to Co Down.

He said: “It’s great news that Dubai Duty Free has come on board as the title sponsor for this year’s Irish Open. Dubai Duty Free is a strong global brand with great experience in sports sponsorship through golf, tennis and horse racing. The European Tour and I both have strong links to Dubai, and I am sure Dubai Duty Free will bring a lot to the event and add to its already great prestige.”

The global golfing star is attracting some of the world's biggest and most exciting names with Rickie Fowler, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood already confirmed to join Ireland’s golfing superstars McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke.

Dubai Duty Free’s golf portfolio also includes the Dubai Ladies Masters, as well as a series of high-profile events including the annual Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup, Dubai Duty Free UAE Nationals Cup, Dubai Duty Free Golf Cup and Dubai Irish Golf Society tournament.

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free said: “Sports sponsorship plays a huge role in our overall marketing strategy, it fosters goodwill and allows our brand to travel all around the globe. 

"We are delighted to become the title sponsor of the Irish Open hosted by The Rory Foundation.  The tournament has a tremendous history and is the flagship golf event in Ireland providing thrilling golfing action for spectators, golf fans and television viewers around the world."

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dubai Duty Free as a title sponsor on The European Tour and look forward to expanding our partnership with another powerful global brand which has vast experience in the sports sponsorship market.

“By becoming the title sponsor to the Irish Open, Dubai Duty Free is making its mark on golf’s world stage and further showcasing the close collaboration that exists between so many of Dubai’s leading companies and The European Tour. With many of the game’s biggest names competing on the iconic links of Royal County Down, we believe the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by The Rory Foundation will deliver superb value to Dubai Duty Free and all of our event partners.”

More than 80,000 spectators are expected to attend with tens of thousands of tickets already sold for the event sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland.

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