Neymar is no longer part of the famous Nike team. The American brand confirmed the end of the relationship after 15 years of association. What boots will the Brazilian star wear this year? Why is this divorce occurring?
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Chasing the mastodons Nike and Adidas, the German Puma could have achieved a great blow by attracting the Paris Saint-Germain striker, if what the Brazilian press publishes is confirmed.
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“We will never know precisely the underlying reasons for the rupture,” says Christophe Lepetit, an economist at the Center for Law and Economics of Limoges (CDES), in France. “Without a doubt during the negotiations it seemed that Nike was not prepared to make the efforts demanded by Neymar,” he adds.
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The context of the covid-19 pandemic, in which companies, even the most successful, are monitoring their investments, has been able to play an important role. “Nike’s share of the market dedicated to football equipment has been slowly declining in the last three to four years, before the coronavirus crisis. Nike must curb spending and exercise caution,” says Peter Rohlmann, German sports marketing expert. .
Without a doubt, the situation must be analyzed through the history of Neymar, who left Barcelona because he was in the shadow of Lionel Messi. If the contract is confirmed, Puma “should make him the cornerstone of their strategy, the star,” says Lepetit.
STRATEGIC HIT FROM PUMA
Puma counts among its main assets the Italian national team, Manchester City, Milan or Antoine Griezmann, after having counted on the legend Diego Maradona.
But at € 5.5 billion ($ 6.5 billion), the brand lags behind rivals Nike ($ 46.3 billion) and Adidas ($ 23.7 billion). Until now, with the exception of Usain Bolt, Puma did not have the same strategy as Nike, based on the “incarnation and identification of the athlete,” says Jerome Neveu, co-founder president of the Advent agency, which measures and analyzes the image of personalities.
Since the retirement of the athletic legend, the German firm had been orphaned of a planetary ambassador. The perfect place that Neymar would occupy. “Puma would be gifted a headlining hit that would blow up the counters in the
world, “says Neveu.
“It is the same type of transfer as Federer or Jordan. We are in a market of superstars, the supply is very scarce and few players have such marketing potential,” says Lepetit.
“It would be a huge blow for Puma”, underlines Virgile Caillet, general secretary of the Union Sport et Cycles, “it would make him change his dimension”. “It marks her willingness to be very present. And this movement would install her in the trio for a long time,” explains Caillet. “Her contract can be estimated at 9.5 million dollars (per year)”, Peter Rohlmann ventures to calculate.
It would be twice less than what Cristiano Ronaldo charges with Nike, according to the Football Leaks investigation.
COHABITATION WITH PSG
For PSG, finalist of the last Champions League, the divorce of its star with Nike, official sponsor of the club, the situation is complicated. “It’s clearly not good news for them,” says Caillet. Obviously, Neymar is not the only player to have a contract with a brand other than his club. As an example, Lionel Messi, the image of Adidas, unlike Barcelona, with Nike.