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SBD/Issue 72/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing
The Real Thing: Will Coke Use Soccer Player As Global Image?
Published December 28, 2001
Luis Figo, a player for the Spanish soccer team Real Madrid, has signed a deal with Coca-Cola that one Real Madrid senior official called "possibly the biggest marketing deal made for a football player ever," according to David Owen of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Financial terms of the deal, which will run for three years with an option for a two-year extension, were not disclosed. However, one marketing exec estimated the deal at around US$1.77M per year. Owen reports that Figo and Real will split the proceeds generated by the deal "about 50-50," helping the team recoup the US$53M transfer fee it paid to sign Figo in '00. Owen also notes that it "seems likely" that Figo, the newly elected FIFA world player of the year, is "being lined up to promote the Coca-Cola brand during next year's World Cup finals." Real Madrid Marketing Dir Jose Angel Sanchez: "Figo will be the image of Coca-Cola worldwide." Owen writes that if Figo becomes Coca-Cola's worldwide image, it would "underline football's increasing dominance in the international sports arena." The company "confirmed that the World Cup would be one of the events on which the company would work with Figo, but said the countries to be covered by the agreement were still to be decided." Meanwhile, Sanchez said that he "thought Real would announce 'another big deal' involving Figo within two months" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/28).