McIlroy decides to break with Horizon and set up his own management company
McIlroy joined Ridge’s Horizon just under two years ago and was contracted to them until the end of 2017
Rory McIlroy, the world number six, issued a statement confirming that he was unhappy with the current arrangement and would form his own tight-knit management company, where his father Gerry would be centrally involved.
Confirming reports over the past several months that he was changing his management team, Rory McIlroy has set up his own management company – Rory McIlroy Incorporated (RMI) – despite having over four years to run on his current contract with Irish sports management company Horizon.
The world number six issued a statement yesterday confirming that he was unhappy with the current arrangement and would form his own tight-knit management company, where his father Gerry would be centrally involved.
McIlroy joined Horizon, a Dublin-based company run by Conor Ridge, just under two years ago and was contracted to them until the end of 2017.
Although the legal agreement is being untangled by lawyers, it is expected that it will be a multi-million euro break for the golfer.
McIlroy was in Dublin city centre’s Westbury Hotel all week speaking to his advisors and legal team, principally in order to make a decision on how he was going to move forward.
A statement issued yesterday said that he had terminated his contract with Horizon Sports Management and that the “details of the termination are in the hands of a legal team led by A&L Goodbody in Dublin”.
In response Horizon issued a more pointed statement highlighting the deal they had brokered between McIlroy and sports clothing company Nike, which was reputedly worth $200 million.
“Since October 2011, Horizon has achieved exceptional results for Rory in realising his commercial objectives. Under Horizon’s management, Rory has signed some of the most lucrative endorsements in sports history,” said the statement.
The two-time Major winner also has lucrative sponsorship deals with Santander bank, Omega and Bose.
Formerly number one in the world it has been a relatively poor season for McIlroy compared to other years. Tipped by many to add to his USPGA and US Open wins, his form slumped to the point where he has not looked like winning all year.
His earnings in prize money also fell from $8,047,952 in 2012 to $1,802,443 this year.
The CEO of RMI will be Donal Casey, an actuary by profession with years of CEO experience and who was also formerly a consultant on strategy to Horizon.
“The Rory Foundation for charity will be run by Barry Funston, a business leader and longtime friend of the McIlroy family,” said the statement. Both men will serve on the RMI Board, together with Gerry McIlroy.
Horizon expressed their “disappointment” and noted that the current management contract has a number of years to run. “Rory’s decision to seek a termination of the management contract with Horizon is now regrettably in the hands of legal advisors. Horizon will be making no further comment,” their statement said.
This year’s US Masters winner, Adam Scott also has a small management team around him with family members and friends and headed by his father Phil.
It was just over two years ago when McIlroy split from Chubby Chandler to join Horizon with Graeme McDowell. Then 22-years-old and ranked three in the world, he had been represented by Chandler’s International Sports Management since turning pro in 2007. His departure to Horizon came just four months after winning his first Major by eight shots in the US Open at Congressional.
Chandler famously agreed his deals with golfers on a handshake but with Horizon there is a legal contract in place, which McIlroy’s lawyers are expected to try to unpick. Typically in contracts of this nature there would be detailed terms and conditions as well as a procedure for termination. It is understood McIlroy’s contract went to 2017 without review.