Cristiano Ronaldo


What: Brazilian all-time great Ronaldo has agreed to purchase La Liga side Real Valladolid for just over US $35 million.
Why it matters: His ownership gives immediate credibility to the squad, though the challenges of ownership are many, even for someone of Ronaldo’s noted business acumen.

Sometimes iconic figures as owner of clubs work out well, but sometimes they can be humbling. Ask Miami Marlins (@Marlinsowner Derek Jeter, whose first year running baseball operations as the main part of his CEO role and minority ownership how quickly cheers can turn to quizzical looks.

La Liga (@LaLigaEN), which has certainly made its share of waves and generated more buzz than usual as the 2018 season starts, did so again this week, when another of the world’s brightest stars assumed a new ownership position that can have global implications.

This week it was announced that Brazilian icon Ronaldo (@Ronaldois set to become the president of La Liga club Valladolid after paying €30 million (a little over US $35 million) to become their leading shareholder.

The move for Ronaldo is seen as a natural progression in the game for one of its biggest stars…

The deal will bring an end to months of negotiations between Valladolid (@realvalladolidand Ronaldo and will mean the former striker has beaten back Mexican businessman Ernesto Tinajero to take control of the club.

Valladolid, one of the clubs which can gain great value by aggressively pushing its brand around the world in the coming year, was promoted to La Liga this season and started by drawing with Girona and losing 1-0 to Barcelona.

The move for Ronaldo is seen as a natural progression in the game for one of its biggest stars, who previously had a stake in the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL before the league folded, and has expressed a desire to run a club in Spain or England before becoming involved in the Brazilian Football Federation. Having star power associated with a club not named Real Madrid or Barcelona will be a boon for LaLiga as it looks to grow its overall brand globally outside of those two elite clubs.

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The casual fan awareness of a club like Valladolid will only go up with Ronaldo in the boardroom, spending time on the business side vs. the pitch. It also can’t hurt the current push for La Liga to expand its window of matches beyond its borders, and is the exact type of club brand recognition that the league will need to attract larger media contracts and more global brand partners, especially in growth areas like the United States and China, into the future.

Now, of course, having Ronaldo at the helm is not the only answer for a club that is still in a mix of relegation going forward for the short term. A star player now off the field can only do so much, and the political football of signing and developing players is one of culture and overall business expertise for the long term.

However for a league looking to grow its footprint, having elite stars involved in club operations more widely certainly doesn’t hurt, especially as the push for new markets and new business opportunities becomes a much larger focus. Ronaldo the player was always one to watch; now Ronaldo the businessman is in the spotlight as well.

A growing trend among professional athletes has been the usage of social media to make important announcements. And on Sunday, December 17, Brazilian soccer star Kaká declared his retirement via his Twitter account to his nearly 30 million followers.

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The 35-year-old leaves a legacy that will forever rival the playing careers of fellow superstars, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In fact, Kaká is the most recent recipient not named Ronaldo or Messi to win the Ballon d’Or, which is the award given to the male player of the year.

In the year that Kaká won the Ballon d’Or (2007), Pele said of attacking midfielder, “He’s the complete player.”

Five years earlier, in 2002, Kaká announced himself to the world stage, winning the World Cup with Brazil.

Full name Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, Kaká did most of his international damage in his career with AC Milan, where he played for six seasons beginning in 2003, before leaving to play for Real Madrid. While in Spain, Kaká captured a league title and a Copa del Rey. He returned to Milan for a brief stint before coming to the United States to play three seasons for Orlando City of the MLS.

Upon his announcement, Milan was one of the clubs to offer him a contract that would have extended his playing career, but Kaká felt that it was time to hang up the cleats.

In a farewell interview he gave to Brazil’s Globo TV, he was candid about a different kind of future with Milan.

I would like to participate in the club in another way, as a manager, a sporting director, as someone who is between the pitch and the club. I prepared very hard to be a professional footballer and I want to prepare for this new role.

From the sounds of it, Kaká is determined to once again leave his mark on Milan in his third stint with the club. It just won’t be as a player this time around.

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What: The “Top 10 Highest-Paid Athlete Endorsers of 2016” list released by the marketing agency Opendorse features four golf players, and one of them has just 111K followers on Twitter.
Why It Matters: Influence is about more than social media numbers, and brands should evaluate other factors when making endorsement decisions.

According to the Forbes list of the ‘World’s Highest-Paid Athletes,’ Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo earned US $88 million last year, which makes him the best-paid athlete of the year.

Ronaldo is also the athlete with the most followers on Twitter. But being the highest-paid and most-followed player does not necessarily make him the right influencer for every brand.

Resultado de imagen de roger federer
Roger Federer

According to Forbes, over 2016 Ronaldo managed to make $32 million through brand endorsements. This number might impress some, but it is almost only half of the $60 million generated by Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, who was the athlete that made the most money off of endorsements in 2016.

Choosing one influencer over another “is not that different from the way that the general market looks at sponsorships,” explains Michael Neuman, EVP and Managing Partner at Scout Sports and Entertainment. It doesn’t matter if they have the most followers on social media: brands must think about what athlete draws the admiration and dedication of their fans.

As Neuman adds, endorsement deals “depends on the brand’s strategy. If a brand decides they want to reach the sports fan and they sponsor a league or the team, staying in the sports genre, the athlete makes the most sense.”

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Nissan, for example, works with both sports influencers and celebrities from other areas. “With our global Champions League sponsorship we also have Gareth Bale and El Kun Agüero as brand ambassadors. But we also have local ambassadors that go from a local pilot to any other sport. It depends on each of the campaigns,” explains Pablo Cárdenas, marketer at Nissan Mexico.

The sports where the athletes wear helmets, like football and hockey, don’t tend to have the highest number of athletes with endorsements.

When choosing an athlete to become a brand’s face, there are some sports that definitely work better than others. “The sports where the athletes wear helmets, like football and hockey, don’t tend to have the highest number of athletes with endorsements because there isn’t the recognition that you have with a basketball player or even a baseball player,” says Neuman.

Resultado de imagen de nbaThe NBA is the league with the highest number of players involved in endorsement campaigns in the United States right now.  “I would say basketball has the most, and hockey has the least,” he adds.

This explains why Lebron James is the second-highest-paid athlete when it comes to off-the-court endorsements, with an income of $54 million through sponsorships during 2016. The NBA player also made it to the headlines after signing a lifetime deal with Nike, rumoured to be worth over $1 billion.

Taking a look at the marketing agency Opendorse’s top 10 highest-paid athletes of 2016 (see below), one will notice many tennis and golf players. But these types of deals don’t always get featured heavily on the streets due to the types of contracts that they sign. Even though the athletes might make less on the contracts, they are more exclusive, and targeted at a narrower audience with a higher acquisition power.

In a world where popularity and social acceptance seems to be directly related to how many followers a person has on social media, these numbers do not mean much in the sports endorsement market. Although soccer players like Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two most followed athletes on Twitter, they are far from making the list of the top 10 largest contracts.

#AthleteSportEstimated Cost Per Tweet in USDTwitter followersTotal Yearly endorsement earnings in USD millionNotable endorsement deals
1Roger FedererTennis31,6606.7M60Wilson, Nike, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Gillette, Credit Suisse
2Lebron JamesBasketball185,32834.5M54Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Kia, McDonald’s, Samsung, Nike
3Phil MickelsonGolfN/A111K50KPMG, Rolex, ExxonMobil, Callaway, Barclays
4Tiger WoodsGolf34,3806.18M45Nike, Upper Deck, Rolex, Hero MotoCorp
5Kevin DurantBasketball80,38815.5M36Nike, 2k Sports, Sprint, BBVA, Beats by Dre, Panini
6Rory McIlroyGolf16,2693.1M35Nike, Bose, EA Sports, Omega, Upper Deck
7Novak DjokovicTennis33,9526.96M34Adidas, Pugeot, Head, Uniqlo, Seiko
8Rafael NadalTennis53,63312.1M32Tommy Hilfiger, Kia, Nike, Babolat, Telefonica
9Jordan SpiethGolf8,7081.74M32AT&T, Coca-Cola, Rolex, Titleist, Under Armour
10Cristiano RonaldoSoccer258,85950.6M32CR7, Nike, Tag Heuer, Herbalife, Monster Headphones, Sacoor Brothers
Source: opendorse.com, Twitter

A recap of news and trends in the Sports Marketing world as compiled by Portada’s Editorial team….

ESPN Deportes to Carry Spanish-language Telecast of Super Bowl 50

Super_Bowl_50_logoDisney owned ESPN in late December made a deal with CBS according to which the Spanish-language cable network ESPN Deportes will simulcast the Super Bowl 50 on February7. This is the first time ESPN Deportes is carrying the championship game, annually the most watched event on television. The move is a result of CBS’s lack of a Spanish-language cable network of its own, it also highlights the increasing popularity of American Football among Hispanics.

This is only the third time the Super Bowl will get the full Spanish-language simulcast.

Super Bowl 50 only will be the third NFL title to get the full Spanish-language simulcast treatment. Fox gave the Super Bowl the first full Spanish-language Super Bowl simulcast in February 2014 with a parallel feed on Fox Deportes that averaged 561,000 viewers, while NBC Universal leveraged last winter’s Patriots-Seahawks showdown as a launch vehicle for NBC Universo, (formerly known as mun2.). Per Nielsen, Hispanic football fans in 2014 made up 9% of the overall audience for NFL broadcasts, or about 1.5 million viewers per game. During that same season, the league invested some $230 million in Hispanic TV spend, up nearly $100 million compared to the 2009 campaign.


La Liga Opens Office in the U.S. Led by Raúl

Liga_de_Fútbol_Profesional_(emblem).svgSpanish Soccer League “La Liga” (LFP-Liga de Fútbol Profesional) just opened an office in New York City. The “La Liga” U.S. Country Manager is no less than ex Real Madrid Captain and Soccer legend Raúl González Blanco (“Raúl”). Raúl made his first appearance as La Liga’s country manager during a presentation held in Miami at BeIn Sports studios. BeIn Sports holds the broadcast rights for La Liga in the U.S. The establishment of an LFP New York office is part of LFP’s growth strategy which attempts to brand “La Liga” as the main national soccer league. Other offices are based in Bejing, Dubai and Johannesburg.

Spanish-Sports Site As Introduces As USA

AsA new arrival to the 2016 U.S. Hispanic sports media scene. Spanish-sports site As, owned and operated by Grupo Prisa, is launching As USA, a U.S. Hispanic edition of the site at http://us.as.com/us/. Read the full story of this Portada exclusive here.

Cristiano Ronaldo invests in his own Hotel Brand

Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo has invested close to US$ 40 million in hotels bearing his CR7 brand. The Portuguese captain has become a shareholder in Portugal’s biggest tourism and leisure group, Pestana, and the deal will see hotels opened in Madeira, Lisbon, Madrid and New York. The first ‘CR7’ hotel will open in his home town of Madeira this summer, according to reports. “My job is to play football, but life won’t always be like this,” Sky Sports reported Ronaldo as saying. “I have to dedicate myself to this new project and I have the best team in the world around me.”

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What? Viva Ronaldo, the official online platform dedicated to the Portuguese soccer superstar, has been released by Viva superstars.
Why it matters? The platform will bring together Cristiano’s 100 million social media fans, providing them with a mix of entertainment, gaming and social following experience.

vivaronaldoThe joint-venture Viva Superstars, Polaris Sports, and Portuguese-Dutch startup bViva, has announced the release of the Viva Ronaldo full version, Cristiano Ronaldo’s official online platform available as a mobile app and on the web at www.vivaronaldo.com.

The digital platform will be available next July 24th and packed with exclusive content.It will be  available on the App Store for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch)or  via web browser and mobile site at www.vivaronaldo.com.

Viva Ronaldo has been available in beta since May. On Viva Ronaldo, fans can follow all Cristiano’s live matches, supporting his in-game actions, and play trivia challenges, to collect points and rewards. They can also interact with Cristiano Ronaldo himself and follow his social activity,as well as  gaining access to prizes such as match tickets, autographed memorabilia or the chance to meet the player.

Viva Ronaldo’s full version will include new features such as: the ability to share videos and pictures supporting Cristiano; a 24/7 chat service; a gift store where fans can acquire virtual goods and send them to Ronaldo or to their friends; and the News Feed, where fans can follow all the action around Viva Ronaldo and Cristiano Ronaldo’s activity on Twitter and Facebook. Besides all of the above mentioned features it allows fans to follow and interact with every match in which Cristiano Ronaldo is involved, both with Real Madrid and Portugal’s national team.

Ronaldo is an active participant on the community, where he usually leaves comments on posts or shares content with his fans. He is one of the most important  worldwide celebrities on social media, with more than 67 million fans of Facebook and over 23 million on Twitter.

“I am extremely happy with my involvement in this company, and I believe Viva Ronaldo is really a unique experience that we are able to provide to my fans all around the world”, says Cristiano Ronaldo.

Viva Ronaldo will be developed by Viva Superstars, a joint-venture between Cristiano Ronaldo, Polaris Sports, and bViva, focusing on the development of social media environment applications, targeted at celebrities, top athletes, television shows and major events.

“Viva Ronaldo original idea came to us while thinking about the next level of celebrity-fan interactions, integrating concepts such as gamification, second screen and mobile experience”, says Eduardo Dias, CEO of bViva. “I immediately thought of Cristiano as the perfect partner for this idea. Our product is a unique experience between fans and stars, there’s nothing like it on the market right now,” he added.

As upcoming developments include the release of the Android version of Viva Ronaldo, the platform may grow further.

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