McIlroy brand worth US$422m according to accounts

The Palm in Dubai, residence of Rory McIlroy Management Services' sole shareholder.

It's been a great few years for Rory McIlroy on and off the golf course and accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office in Dublin recently show he's now a very valuable asset indeed.

Lucrative contracts with sponsors such as Nike, Bose, EA Sports and Omega — to name just four— mean he will never have to worry about money again. They go some way towards explaining why his split with his former management company ended up in an acrimonious legal battle before eventually being settled out of court for a figure believed to be north of €25m.

That figure pales in comparison with those revealed in returns for Rory McIlroy Management Services Limited, which has Donal Casey (48), Barry Funston (50) and Gerry McIlroy (56) as directors while Rory McIlroy is the sole shareholder.

According to Gordon Deegan in the Irish Examiner the value of the McIlroy brand is... 

"...underlined by the Dublin firm placing a $422.13m (€399.55m) book value on the firm’s intangible assets connected to the golfer’s brand.
McIlroy works in many countries but opted to locate everything to do with his brand and intellectual property in Ireland by setting up the firm here as part of a strategy to simplify his business affairs.

According to the Belfast Telegraph version of Deegan's story, the first set of accounts lodged by McIlroy's firm with the Companies Office show that the company made a loss of $2.14m (£1.42m) for 2014.

However, the accounts only provide an abridged balance sheet and the loss could be attributable to high write annual write-off costs of the firm's intangible assets valued at $422m at the end of 2014.
In setting up the firm in the Republic, McIlroy spurned the route often taken by superstar sports personalities by creating a complex structure that would have located his management company in the US while protecting his wealth with tax havens such as the Virgin Islands or Bermuda.

When your brand is that valuable, it's hard to see where the real person ends and the brand begins.

But whatever happens off the course, McIlroy's big focus is on the numbers game on it.

The 2016 season will be huge for him after a stop-start, injury-hit 2015 that left him majorless and third in the world but still very much the man they all have to beat.