He may not have won a tournament in over a year but as one of the world's top 10 golfers Rory McIlroy is still coining it.
Ranked at number 9 in the official rankings, the county Down golfer's form has been patchy over the past 12 months, with a second placed finish in last years British Open about as good as it got.
Then again the 29 year old Ulster man's record to date makes him a player sponsors are still keen to partner with.
Since turning professional in just 2007, he has become one of the most popular golfers in the world because of his approachability with fans and candor with media.
A four-time major championship winner, McIlroy also has earned 23 career victories, including 14 on the PGA TOUR. He held the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for 95 weeks and is one of only four players to win three majors by the age of 25 (Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth), which include The Open (2014), U.S. Open (2011) and the PGA Championship (2012, 2014). He has represented Europe on five Ryder Cup teams and won the PGA TOUR’s prestigious FedExCup in 2016.
Now global sports brand NBC Sports Group and the golf superstar have announced the launch of GOLFPASS, a new digital membership concept.
According to NBC, GOLFPASS is a first-of-its-kind, direct-to-consumer subscription program, which offers opportunities to play more golf, comprehensive tools to improve any golfer’s game; high-quality video content; and enhanced shopping and travel experiences. GOLFPASS is the product of two years of development and collaboration between Rory McIlroy Inc. and NBC Sports Group.
“Golf has been a constant in my life, a passion I share with millions of others. Creating GOLFPASS with NBC Sports was driven by my desire to enrich the golf experience for fans all around the world,” said McIlroy.
“Arnold Palmer showed tremendous vision when founding GOLF Channel in 1995 and it now stands as a significant part of his legacy. I have the utmost respect for the impact he made on the game and I will carry that spirit forward by helping to lead our sport into its digital future with GOLFPASS.”
NBC say it is designed to make golf more accessible and fun using NBC Sports’ portfolio of golf tech and services that help better connect golfers to the sport.
'Whether it’s video instruction from the best coaches in the world or enhancing the golf experience on and off the course says the statement which adds..
'Rory is the perfect partner for GOLFPASS, not only because he’s an approachable, genuine and global ambassador for golf – much in the same way Mr. Palmer was – he’s also eager to modernize how golfers engage with the sport in their daily lives, whether watching a screen or with a club in their hand.'
According to the backers, Play, Learn, Watch, Travel and Shop is the main objective for the target audience costing you $9.99 per month or $99 per year.
Tell me more I hear you say.
Heres how it works.
PLAY: GOLFPASS members receive a free round of golf each month, good at a choice of 7,000 GOLFNOW partner golf courses in 26 countries around the world, including Royal Portrush Golf Club, site of The Open this year in Northern Ireland, and top resorts like Harbour Town at Sea Pines Resort, TPC Deere Run, home of the PGA TOUR’s John Deere Classic, or Pasatiempo Golf Club. Members receive 25% in savings when registering to compete on the GOLF Am Tour, which annually hosts 800 local, regional and national amateur tournaments in the U.S., Canada and, soon, Australia. Additionally, GOLFPASS+ ($199 per year) members receive additional benefits on GOLFNOW, including waived booking fees, cancellation protection and 25 percent extra rewards points.
LEARN: At launch, GOLFPASS members will have access to more than 4,000 on-demand instruction videos featuring many of the world’s elite coaches, including Sean Foley (Justin Rose) and Cameron McCormick (Jordan Spieth), as well as McIlroy’s coach, Michael Bannon with their GOLFPASS Original series, Lessons with a Champion Golfer. GOLFPASS instructional content includes tips from golf legends, including Paul Azinger, Nick Faldo, Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam and more. And GOLFPASS provides access to Revolution GOLF’s award-winning roster of coaches: Foley, McCormick, Martin Chuck, Chris Como, Martin Hall and Andrew Rice. Other GOLFPASS benefits include special pricing and early access to Revolution GOLF Schools, and golf-specific fitness and training programs, including Core Golf with Don Saladino.
WATCH: Showcasing a video library totaling more than 1,000 hours this year, GOLFPASS is home to exclusive GOLFPASS Originals, as well as GOLF Channel’s robust video archive, which spans historic competitions, insight from golf’s biggest names and award-winning franchises like Emmy-nominated Feherty, Emmy-award winning GOLF Films and more. Exclusive GOLFPASS Originals at launch include My Roots: Rory McIlroy, My Daily Routine and Toughest Tracks, with an expanding slate rolling out throughout the year.
TRAVEL – GOLFPASS members receive unlimited $100 travel credits at a selection of top resorts, including Sea Island in Georgia, The Biltmore in Miami and Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas. Members receive unlimited $100 credits for all GOLF Advisor Getaways, which are scheduled at spectacular resorts, including Streamsong Resort in Florida, Turning Stone Resort & Casino in New York and Baha Mar Casino & Hotel in the Bahamas. And members receive insider travel information and custom itineraries built from GOLF Advisor experiences at more than 10,000 golf destinations around the world.
SHOP: Annual GOLFPASS members receive a free dozen TaylorMade golf balls. GOLFPASS members can shop more than 45 brands and take advantage of exclusive member pricing on clubs, apparel, accessories, digital instructional tools and training aids – including free shipping. TaylorMade, as an official GOLFPASS partner, will provide member pricing across their best-in-class equipment and golf ball portfolio, preferred access to new product releases and exclusive, Rory McIlroy limited-edition products.
McIlroy’s role as GOLFPASS’s founder was highlighted when he introduced the concept on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. McIlroy will start sporting the GOLFPASS logo on his golf bag at next week’s Genesis Open. Additionally, McIlroy’s contributions include co-hosting an exclusive podcast with television host, radio personality and Emmy award-winning producer Carson Daly.
Expect plenty more of this type of multimedia content and sponsorship.