Tennis superstar Caroline Wozniacki was on hand to watch Rory McIlroy lift golf’s richest prize of the year – as their relationship blossoms into a marketing dream.
The Danish world number one was in China on Sunday to watch McIlroy play for the first time as he clinched a $2 million check after victory in the Shanghai Masters event.
Wozniacki was accompanied by McIlroy’s new manager Conor Ridge as the US Open golf champion beat American Anthony Kim in the first hole of a play-off.
The win takes McIlroy’s earnings for the year to almost $15 million but that’s still short of Wozniacki’s $20 million income from tournaments and endorsements in 2011.
The Irish Independent reports that the pair are a dream ticket for the marketing industry and can easily increase each other’s earning potential by virtue of their relationship.
The paper’s golf writer Liam Kelly says that McIlroy (22) and Wozniacki (21) are sports new ‘Golden Couple’ as romance blossoms.
“Wozzilroy, as Mr McIlroy has dubbed the couple, can individually expect to double their year’s earnings through sponsorship and endorsement money, but together they are even more marketable,” wrote Kelly.
“As long as their love-in lasts, they are a brand, and that’s good for business. David Beckham and the then Victoria Adams, Posh Spice of the Spice Girls, broke the mould when they first crossed the divide between sports and showbiz in the mid-1990s.
“Mr McIlroy and Ms Wozniacki can have a similar effect because their combined appeal broadens beyond the parameters of their respective sports.
“As “Wozzilroy”, it will be about more than selling golf clubs and tennis racquets. They exude desirable qualities such as youth, romance, athleticism, and success that can be artfully utilised to present blue-chip companies in the best light possible.”
The report also says that jointly marketed, they could boost the endorsement part of their income by 50 per cent in the coming years, according to marketing experts.
McIlroy meanwhile came face to face with his former manager Chubby Chandler on Tuesday for the first time since they parted ways at JFK Airport in New York a fortnight ago.
“We’ve both already moved on,” said Chandler. “We shared a laugh and a couple of jokes, had a chat and were fine, just like I’d knew we would be. I wish Rory nothing but the best and he knows that.”