Rory McIlroy was on television often in 2011. At the Masters, the exposure was for the wrong reason. At Congressional and for most of the remainder of the year, it was the right kind of attention.
Despite playing a limited American schedule, McIlroy delivered $16.2 million in U.S. television exposure for his battery of sponsors, according to brand analysis and research firm Repucom. McIlroy's primary sponsors include Oakley, Footjoy, Titleist and Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
By comparison, Tiger Woods generated $8.8 million in exposure for Nike. More than $7 million of that came during the Masters, where Woods finished fourth, according to Forbes.com. Nike was Woods' lone visible sponsor for most of 2011.
The value of the exposure was derived from several factors, including the television audience for each tournament played, how long sponsor logos were exposed and their on-screen clarity. The four major championships draw the most viewers, translating into the largest value for sponsors.
Woods delivered a little more than half the sponsor value McIlroy did last season, but played less often than and not as well as McIlroy. Compared to the 13 PGA Tour-sanctioned events McIlroy played, Woods competed in 11. McIlroy also won several overseas events broadcast in the United States, primarily on Golf Channel. Woods won his Chevron World Challenge in December but had only one other top-10 finish at the Masters.
Through The Players Championship this season, Phil Mickelson has delivered the most media value on the PGA Tour with $9 million of exposure for his sponsors.