Cristiano Ronaldo has been forced to withdraw his CR7 footwear range after Nike threatened to end his contract with them over the multi-million euro issue, according to SPORT.
Ronaldo, one of the most marketable athlete in the world is one of Nike global athletes who makes approx €14 million a year from Nike sponsorship endorsements.
The swoosh didn’t have a major problem with CR7 underwear and shirt line, however footwear is a different ball game. A footwear CR7 range is a direct competition to Nike’s core products with the Portuguese. Nike then told Ronaldo to drop his footwear brand or risk losing the contract with them.
Nike did the right move, not to allow their sponsored athlete to compete with them directly. I however wonder why he did kick off this initiative in the first place. A product marketing collection is a long process involving many components: design, supply chain, marketing, distribution, digital etc… not something you wake up in the morning with the idea and launch in the afternoon.
Given the relationships between Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo, it is surprising that the Portuguese star had not been advised to drop this project before it even started. According to Bleachreport, Ronaldo launched the range of footwear at Milan Shoe Fair last week, with boots, loafers and dress shoes all included in the collection. Prices for the items ranged from €100 to €550.
A partnership between sports brands and their athletes is a two way street. They benefit from each other’s brand, and global marketability. It’s a win-win situation, especially when values and personality are such a perfect fit as CR7 and Nike. In other words, Cristiano Ronaldo’d better stay in Nike good books, but so does Nike.