Kellie Harrington named Ireland’s most marketable athlete

Five of the top six are females with Shane Lowry the only male athlete making top six

Sponsorship consultants Onside and the Marketing Institute of Ireland have named Tokyo Olympic boxing champion Kellie Harrington as the country's most marketable athlete.

At a business of sponsorship conference on Thursday, Harrington was also one of five female athletes named in the top six most marketable sports stars, alongside Solheim Cup star Leona Maguire, Paralympic gold medallist Ellen Keane, Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore and fellow boxer Katie Taylor.

Their names were revealed by an Onside survey of the MII's professional marketing community; the only male athlete in the top six was golf's Shane Lowry.

In a further sign of the marketing industry’s growing enthusiasm for women’s sport, the women’s GAA partnership with Lidl was voted the joint winner of the best overall sports sponsorship of summer 2021, alongside FBD’s tie-up with Team Ireland around the Tokyo Olympic Games.


"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 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.”

Away from sport, Pieta House’s partnership with Electric Ireland was an overwhelming winner of the best non-sport sponsorship in summer 2021.