Limerick man Greg O'Shea and his partner Amber Gill, from Newcastle, have been crowned the winners of Love Island 2019. Video: Virgin Media

It was a season when the Irish punched above their weight and captured the hearts of the British public. Yes, Love Island may be over for another summer, but Greg O’Shea, who was half of the winning couple, and Maura Higgins, who also made the final, leave the reality show as household names.

So what lies in store for the pair? The world is their oyster, according to Carrie Rose of Rise at Seven, a digital-marketing agency.“Each islander has their own agent already managing all brand partnerships, carefully selecting the most profitable opportunities whilst also declining any brands which could be potentially damaging to her reputation,” she says. “They already have the power of being able to select and decline whatever offers they want.”

First on the agenda for both islanders is the nightclub circuit, from which Love Island alumni can make serious coin. Wes Nelson, one of last year’s finalists, reportedly pocketed at least £300,000, or €325,000, from a 56-date tour.

Although Greg’s people have yet to formally announce any dates, a quick glance at Facebook reveals that Maura is scheduled to do meet-and-greets in glamorous spots like Evesham and Reading – and to appear at a sold-out Leaving Cert results night in Navan on August 13th.

The pair might also be able to stay in television. Previous Love Island contestants have appeared on Celebrity Masterchef, Would I Lie to You? and Celebs Go Dating, among other programmes.

Next up are the brand partnerships. Maura and Greg both have substantial social-media followings, and companies will be clamouring to work with them in the months ahead.

Take Maura. Rose says the Longford woman’s “fun, playful but boss-lady attitude” will be particularly appealing to fashion and beauty brands. Indeed, she has been mentioned online by Missy Empire, Oh Polly and Lipsy, and is already a brand ambassador for Bellamianta spray tan.

Greg is in less well-charted territory, given that he wasn’t well known until a fortnight ago and has therefore had less time to develop a public image – notably, unlike those of many of his fellow islanders, his Instagram bio doesn’t list an agent or management company. But with his rugby pedigree the Limerick man can, at the very least, expect to be courted by health and fitness brands, as well as by a suite of Irish companies.

Sponsored content is a lucrative game, and the more social-media followers you have the more you can expect to earn. According to Rise at Seven’s calculations, Maura could earn nearly €5,500 a post for promoting a brand to her 1.5 million social-media followers; Greg stands to earn more than €2,300 for each post, given his 660,000 followers (and counting).

But Rose warns Love Islands to strike while the iron is hot, as, faced with poor responses, brands are spending less and less money on influencer marketing. Once islanders leave the villa, “fans will still be engaged in their content for at least the next 12 months”, she says. “To continue the opportunities long term, contestants are best finding a niche and sticking to it, whether that’s fitness, fashion or travel. Brands like influencers with a strong identity that makes them different in a crowded market.”

Maura and Greg need only look at last year’s Love Island contestants to see how the show enabled them to pursue their own passion projects.

Among the women, the 2018 winner, Dani Dyer, released a clothing line with In the Style. The runner-up, Laura Anderson, hosts a podcast for BBC Sounds. Kaz Crossley, who came third, has her own range of headbands, and Megan Barton-Hanson, who came fourth, teamed up with Ann Summers, the sex-toy and lingerie chain, to lead a campaign to “fight taboos around female sexual pleasure”.

Magnetic Finishing Machine

Of last year’s lads, the winner, Jack Fincham, has become a social-media influencer and reality-show fixture. The runner-up, Paul Knops, has persisted with his modelling career. The third-place finalist, Josh Denzel, is a presenter and content creator, and Wes Nelson, who went on the nightclub tour after coming fourth, was runner-up on the most reason season of Dancing on Ice.

Love Island, you see, opens a lot of doors. It’s up to Greg and Maura which ones they walk through.

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