Five-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, UEFA Best Player in Europe winner, four-time Champions League winner, four-time FIFA World Club winner – who else but “Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro”.
Widely acknowledged as one of the best players of our time, he has proved his worth a countless number of times. In the footballing world, Ronaldo is synonymous with football – from Sporting Lisbon, to a record-breaking six years with Manchester United, an imperious time and trophy-laden Real Madrid, and now all the way to Italy with Juventus where he already has a total of 15 goals and 8 assists in just 24 appearances.
But we are not here to talk about his records or titles, instead we are going to focus on the most marketable athlete in the world.
The Portuguese captain has had in a long-term, 15 year relationship with Nike and he has worn over 70 different editions of the mercurial boots with the famous swoosh symbol. It all began in 2003 when he was first spotted with the Nike Mercurial Vapor, the boot family he has stayed with to-date.
As a testament to his value for Nike, Ronaldo was awarded with a lifetime deal in 2016 with the sportswear giants. In a deal Nike reported to be worth around $1 billion, Ronaldo joined an elite group – the only sports stars in history that have that have garnered such deals are Michael Jordan and LeBron James (Micheal Jordan was paid over $473 million since 1993 by Nike, even though he retired in 2003).
Moving away from Nike, it is estimated that Cristiano Ronaldo makes over $108 million a year, aside from some of his other deals with some other big names like:
EA Sports – He has appeared on the famous game cover of FIFA 18 and FIFA 19 video games.
KFC – He was a KFC ambassador from 2013 to 2016, and was paid $0.75m annually. He also featured in some of their adverts.
Castrol Oil & petrol: Ronaldo became the brand Ambassador of Castrol in 2009 by signing a deal worth £8.2m for two years. He recently extended his affiliation with Castrol as he renewed his contract for £5.5m
Panzer Glass: This deal started in 2017 and still running. He makes $0.5m every year for the company to use his CR7 branding on their products.
Emporio Armani: He was paid $1.6m annually for four years. He earned a total of $4.8m from Armani.
Other deals are Herbalife, American Tourister, Egyptian Steel and others just to name a few.
When he’s not working with other brands, Cristiano is building his own brand of underwear (named after himself) – which has now expanded into different categories like sportswear, footwear, and sock collections.
The most marketable athlete on earth? Probably. Cristiano Ronaldo ladies and gentleman.