Kellie Harrington is the most marketable athlete in Ireland.
Sponsorship consultants Onside and the Marketing Institute of Ireland have named the Tokyo Olympic as the country’s most marketable sports star.
A list of six was released at a business of sponsorship conference on Thursday and Harrington topped the pile.
Of the six, two were boxers, as undisputed world champion Katie Taylor was also named.
The boxing stars were also two of five women named with Shane Lowry the only male on the list. Harrington beat the likes of Solheim Cup star Leona Maguire, Paralympic gold medallist Ellen Keane, Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore and fellow boxer Taylor to the top spot on the marketing podium.
Harrington tops the charts having won gold for her country at the Tokyo Olympics are a sensational run to the final. It means boxing can lay claim to Ireland’s most marketable athlete and the most admired, a gong won by Taylor three years running.
“For several years, momentum has been building around women’s sport in Ireland with the likes of Katie Taylor and the women’s hockey team blazing a trail,” said ONSIDE founder and chief executive, John Trainor.
“What we’ve seen for the first time in 2021 is female athletes dominate the news agenda for a sustained period, from Rachael Blackmore’s ground-breaking successes at Cheltenham and Aintree in March and April, through to Leona Maguire’s inspirational performances at the Inverness Club in September.
“In the middle of all that were the Olympic and Paralympic Games and, again, it was the female stars that shone brightest, and Kellie Harrington’s boxing gold medal has catapulted her to the top of the most marketable athletes in the minds of key marketing budget holders for 2022.
“It was also notable that Allianz’s use of Ellen Keane — a regular fixture near the top of our list over recent years — as the face of its Paralympics marketing in Ireland helped the brand finish joint winner of the most effective Paralympic sponsorship alongside Toyota.”