The Process of Changing Boot Sponsors: How It’s Done

January 25, 2020

A footballer has a number of reasons to change their boot sponsor. They might want more money, they might have similar values to their new boot sponsor, they might want their own signature shoe and go to a less popular shoe in order to get one.

New brands like Puma and New Balance have created a deep market for footballers looking for a new boot sponsor. A football player ́s individual sponsorship is in many cases his second main source of income. Elite players will have brands lock down their loyalty with large amounts of money and different conditions.

Often players will black out their boots when in the process of negotiating a fresh new boot deal with another company. They don’t want to give out free advertising. For a number of elite players, wearing the particular branded football boot is only one part of an overall brand ambassadorial role. It means that for all public activities a player’s role will not only be wearing particular footwear, but most likely also be kitted out, depending on the circumstances, in the brand’s clothes when attending photo sessions and promotional appearances.

Here is a list of players that axed that boot sponsor and looked for a new deal with a competitor.

Aaron Ramsey
Many fans were discouraged when Ramsey started wearing New Balance boots, He had just come off a season where he had dominated the premier league with 18 goals in the 2013/14 season wearing Adidas. It was also a major shock because he was one of the faces of New Balance, likely to have a signature shoe but he still decided to go back to Adidas in 2018. From the outside it illustrates that Ramsey actually left because he doesn’t enjoy playing in New Balance boots, and would prefer to take less money, for more comfort and performance on the football pitch. 

David Silva
Manchester City star David Silva joined Puma from Adidas. David Silva said on the move “I was already wearing PUMA football boots when I was a kid and I am looking forward to wearing the brand again. Some peopIe call me ‘El Mago’, so for my next trick I’ll be wearing the PUMA One.”

Cesc Fabregas
He was a Nike player during his entire time at Arsenal and even in his first year as a Barça player. Then, in 2011 PUMA pulled off one of their biggest ever signings by capturing the signature of Cesc Fabregas from Nike. The Monaco midfielder put pen to paper with PUMA on a five-year-deal worth £16million, which at the time made him the third highest earner from a boot deal behind just CR7 and David Beckham.

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Özil’s relationship with Nike turned pretty sour. Under the terms of their deal, Nike had the right to match any offer made by potential rival sponsors before he could legally switch brands, but with his contract up Özil began wearing the Adidas F50. Nike took court action which resulted in Özil being fined £122,000 every time he laced up in Adidas and forced him to either wear Nike or unbranded boots. In August this year Özil unsurprisingly left Nike to officially join the Adidas team in a deal believed to be worth up to €25 million until 2020.

Sergio Aguero
The Argentinian was in the Liga BBVA with Atletico de Madrid wearing Nike boots, but didn’t have a strong image on the brand – something he did achieve with Puma after he arrived in England to play for Manchester City. Sergio Aguero could see more value in pursuing a brand like Puma because he will be valued more and thus have more control over his career. Aguero came in to the Premier League wearing Puma V1.11.The Aguero capture began a spending spree for PUMA who have since built a strong squad of top players. Aguero has had some memorable moments for Puma to cherish with one of the most famous goals the Premier League will ever see, that last minute winner against QPR to clinch the Premier League title. Do you think he’s missing his days with Nike?

Paul Pogba 
Paul Pogba was a Nike player for several years. He has recently become the most important signed player of the year by Adidas and it will be difficult to see him wearing another brand. Pogba signed a 10-year deal in 2016 worth a staggering £31 million.After a reported bidding war between Nike and Adidas, Pogba stated.“I chose Adidas because we are united by our passions and values. We have the same vibes on and off the field.”

Lionel Messi
During Leo Messi ́s first games with the first team we saw him wear Nike boots but this would not last since Adidas saw the talent in the Argentinian player and immediately decided to offer him a top contract when he was only 18 years old.The Argentine took his first steps in top-flight football wearing a pair of Nike Air Zoom Total 90 IIIs. On 1 February 2006, Messi playing in the Copa del Rey tie against Real Zaragoza wearing a pair of Adidas F50s. After 42 minutes he opened his Adidas account. In February 2017 Adidas made sure Nike wouldn’t be able to get their football boots back in the door by handing Messi a lifetime contract.When a 40-year-old Messi is playing as a holding midfield, he’ll be doing so wearing Adidas.

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