How much could darts sensation Luke Littler earn?

He may have just missed out on the top prize, but Luke Littler has made life-changing amounts of money most 16 year olds can only dream of, bursting on to the biggest stage in darts at the PDC World Darts Championship.

Eliminating some of the biggest names in the sport in the past few weeks before being pipped in the final by his namesake Luke “Cool Hand” Humphries, Luke “The Nuke” has managed to pocket £200,000, dwarfing the £2,500 in career earnings with the PDC prior to this tournament.

But experts suggest the teenager has positioned himself to earn much more in the coming years through sponsorship deals and endorsements.

While the money in darts is not as lucrative as in other individual sports such as golf or tennis, the potential earnings for Littler are “huge”, according to sponsorship and marketing consultant Nigel Currie.

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“It’s hard to put figures on it exactly, but he has certainly put himself in pole position,” he said.

Mr Currie told the BBC that Littler’s social media following was a “key thing in the modern age” in securing big sponsorship deals with brands wanting to advertise their products through his accounts.

As well as taking the boisterous Ally Pally crowd in his stride, Littler has become a sensation on social media, amassing more than 679,000 followers on Instagram alone. He has also been pictured by Premier League footballers including England internationals Declan Rice and James Maddison.

“There will be huge deals to be had within the sport of darts, by that I mean darts deals and board deals,” Mr Currie added.

“It’s more limited within darts but it is still a key thing for him to be at the top and the most recognised player in darts, which he will probably become.”

Alongside his sporting success, Mr Currie said Littler’s age and likeable personality is a big factor in attracting endorsements.

“There is a uniqueness about him,” he added.

“He still really is a kid and developing so with the right advice and guidance he could become a really positive role model.

“For the sport of darts, it is crucial and it will widen its appeal globally.”

Luke Littler
Image caption,Experts say Littler’s charm shown in interviews will also attract sponsors

The sponsorship consultant made comparisons between Littler captivating fans to the time Emma Raducanu won the US Open in tennis back in 2021.

“It’s never happened in darts where you have someone so young beating some guys who have been around for years and are hardened world champions,” he added.

What brands could be interested?

Given Littler, who was born in Runcorn and lives in Warrington, only finished his GCSEs last summer, a source of major sponsorship and advertising in darts, gambling, can be ruled out for now.

But the teenager’s comments about his routine and preparation for matches could provide opportunities.

After an earlier win in the tournament, Littler celebrated by treating himself to “a kebab and a can of Tango”. He has since been offered free kebabs for life by one London kebab house.

On his preparation for Wednesday’s final, he said: “In the morning I’ll go for my ham and cheese omelette and then come here, have a pizza and then prep on the board. That is what I’ve done every day.”

“You could see a fast food company latching on to that pretty quickly,” said Mr Currie.

“People are just looking to get that teenage market because it’s quite hard to get at that market without going down the footballing root and that tends to be quite expensive.”

Sports marketing consultant Tim Crow told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money programme that Littler would be on the top of the list for many advertising agencies.

“We’re very used to sportsmen speaking in media-trained clichés these days but he says it off the cuff, he talks about his kebabs and I think that adds an enormous amount of appeal,” he said.

“He might get interest from new sectors but as I always say: you can make a lot of money out of one title but you only build a career out of consistently winning titles.”

With a promising career ahead, Mr Crow added that there would be no shortage of offers for book deals or documentaries in the future.

Will there be offers from TV?

Littler’s success at the tournament will also open the door for TV appearances, according to entertainment journalist Emma Bullimore.

“There will be loads and loads of TV interest,” she said. “He is exactly what bosses want.

“He seems so normal and very relatable. He did not come from money, he is so young to have this success. The Brits love an underdog on any level.”

Producers of the UK’s biggest reality TV shows, including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Strictly Come Dancing, will likely be interested, she added.

Contestants on I’m A Celebrity… are often paid hundreds of thousands of pounds, with many also cashing in long after they have left the jungle.

Ant and Dec in the TV jungle
Image caption,I’m A Celebrity… bosses will be interested in Littler, according to journalist Emma Bullimore

But Bullimore said any stint would depend on how much time Littler would be prepared to take out of his sporting calendar.

“If you agree to do Strictly, it is a lot of fun but it is three months out of your time [while] I’m a Celeb involves travel,” she added.

“Panel shows would be easy money for him, though I do not know how shy or gregarious he is.”

Bullimore also compared Littler’s success to that of Raducanu – who bagged $2.5m (£1.8m) for winning the title, the only major one of her career, but has since earned millions on top from sponsorship.

“Emma Raducanu is an interesting comparison,” Ms Bullimore said.

“She was also very young and came out of nowhere. She took all the invitations, she took all the fun stuff that came her way.

“That was her moment – is [Luke] going to be http://kueceng.com/ a massive champion or is this his moment? Does he cash in?”

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