David Carey reached a mainstream audience at the Open when he placed 18th halfway through on his Major debut.
With his Ben Hogan cap, Mr 57 moniker for his rock-bottom career record and DeChambeau length off the tee, he’s eminently marketable.
He is taking part in the ISPS HANDA World Invitational at Galgorm Castle this week, but is also looking to boost his off-course income as he faces huge expenses at qualifying school.
It’s a problem faced by dozens of young pros every year, but Carey is looking to use his image to make money after signing with Dublin-based Irish sports management agency Sport Endorse last week.
Founded by Kerryman Trevor Twamley and his business partner Declan Burke, this full-service agency has built a platform of 2,600 companies and athletes and works to match them with endorsements.
“With David, we will take care of his brand and then connect him with the long-term sponsors he deserves,” said Twamley, who has golfers Harold Varner III and Annabel Dimmock on his books as well as the star of the Irish rugby James Lowe, John of Sheffield United. Egan, former jockey Nina Carbery and boxer Jason Quigley, to name a few.
The goal now is to use Sport Endorse to grow Carey’s social media and make him even more attractive to sponsors.
“Estée Lauder currently spends 75% of its total marketing budget on influencers,” Twamley said of a world where gamers like Ian Poulter use social media as a business tool. “So the social media aspect is vital these days.
“Our athletes need to be elite and they need to manage and grow their social media profile by creating content and driving followers. Brands will see that engagement and start looking at you. You can’t hide.
“Of course, success on the pitch is what makes companies look at you, so you have to be able to compete and win.
“It’s a delicate balance, which is why people like David have to come to an agency like ours that knows what they’re doing and remove those frictions from their daily lives so they can work on their golf and let sponsorships and endorsements to Sport Endorse.”
Sports Endorse sued Carey, but the agency has its own app where athletes can sign up, create a profile, post a photo or video of themselves in action, then bid on live opportunities to impress the crowd. brand they want to work with – and get paid.