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Money ready to start rolling in as incredible win sees Shane's value go sky high

In the money: Shane Lowry’s income may triple after Open win
In the money: Shane Lowry’s income may triple after Open win

By Joanne O'Sullivan

Commercially, Shane Lowry's victory puts him on another level entirely.

Going into The Open, Lowry was 67th in the FedEx standings and No.33 in the world.

After his win in Portrush he has shot up to 17th, the highest he has ever been, and guarantees him invites to the top golf events for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

Since turning professional in 2009, Lowry has earned €14m on the European Tour alone.

The prize money for winning The Open is a staggering €1.7m, while sports endorsement contracts are typically structured to include bonus fees for certain milestones or achievements, so winning his first Major should unlock a host of payments from his existing sponsors.

But it is the list of bonuses and exemptions that come with the Claret Jug that is of long-term value and will have Lowry's team rubbing their hands in anticipation.

Lowry has a playing exemption at The Open until he turns 60, a PGA Tour exemption for the next five years, European Tour exemption for the next 10 years and an invitation to the next five Masters, US PGA, US Open and Players' Championship tournaments.

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With that tour diary comes more exposure for Lowry and creates more opportunity for sponsors.

Plus, he has off-course attributes that sponsors love - likeability and a devoted family man.

Lowry is one of the most popular individuals in Irish sport and being associated with him will create a very positive impact for the right brand.

His already impressive stable of sponsors includes Bank of Ireland, Kingspan and Immedis - all of which are Irish based.

His equipment sponsor is Srixon/Cleveland Golf.

His value is at an all-time high and it will be interesting to see if his sponsor-base attracts US and UK-based partners as he moves from being a much-loved national sports hero to internationally recognised star.

As an Open champion and one with such obvious public appeal, he is now in a strong position to sign up to new endorsements and sponsorship deals.

He will command top-tier fees for speaking events, golf days and appearances, which has the potential to be very lucrative.

It is entirely feasible Lowry could treble his income from sponsorship and endorsements over the next 12 months.

Beyond his success, this has been a superb couple of weeks for Irish golf. Ireland is famous for having a third of the world's links courses and, now the world's media has experienced it for themselves, golf tourism should be reaping the rewards for years to come.

The incredible combination of a successful Irish Open in Lahinch, followed by the first Open Championship hosted by Ireland in 68 years, won by an Irishman, has firmly positioned the island as a golfer's paradise.

According to the Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index 2018, golf is Ireland's fourth favourite sport after GAA, football and rugby.

But there has always been a challenge in attracting younger fans and keeping the game relevant to those with short attention spans.

The ripple effect of Lowry bringing the Claret Jug home to Clara, Co Offaly might just inspire a whole new generation of Lowrys, McIlroys, McDowells and Harringtons.

  • Joanne O'Sullivan is director on the sport and sponsorship team at Teneo

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