The Manchester United winger Nani was a Nike player for many years, and has recently been signed by adidas. The Portuguese striker was visiting adidas Headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. There, he visited the wall of fame and the Heritage division, where he seemed to have had great fun!
It’s not very common to see iconic players swapping Nike to adidas or vice-versa. Thierry Henry wore Nike for many years before being contracted by Reebok. It’s actually the only one (I said iconic) I can think of. Recently, Nani added his name to this very shortlist.
I think it is not as simple as it seems. Players strongly linked to either adidas or Nike will still be seen as adidas or Nike athlete for a while. These two brands are so powerful that players marketed by adidas or Nike remain with the adidas or Nike stamp despite the brand switch.
The SoccerBible said: “For us boot fans, it was a huge shock when we first saw long-term Nike Vapor wearer Nani sporting a pair of adidas F50 adizero football boots. But such has been the impact of the adizero, that despite not being endorsed by adidas, they were Nani’s boot choice. And we think it’s fair to say this season Nani has really come of age, and has been in great form wearing adidas football boots.”
Great efforts ahead in order to now link Nani to adidas. It will be interesting to monitor adidas’ marketing stunts around the Portuguese player, and what advertising angle they will come up with. The transition could be smooth or more difficult than expected. Anyways, the Portuguese joins a fantastic players portfolio with Messi, Villa, Xavi etc…
PS: Other than that, good to see some of my former colleagues on the video!