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SBD Global/June 13, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Rich & Handsome: Ronaldo Could Cash In From A Successful World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo has a combined 110 million social media followers.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo by most accounts already is the top global football player in terms of "sheer marketability," but his closest rivals "will be left in the shade" if Ronaldo makes the FIFA World Cup his own, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Ronaldo's rise to the "unofficial face of Brazil 2014 has not happened by chance." It has been the "product of a carefully calculated strategy from the team behind him," led by long-time agent Jorge Mendes. Ronaldo has been pushed not only through "traditional forms of marketing space -- the billboards and television adverts -- but, crucially, on social media." He already is the "sports star with the most Facebook likes, with 83.3 million, while his Twitter account has attracted 26.6 million followers." While Ronaldo "reveals next to nothing" about himself on Twitter, the "endless endorsements of his various commercial partners and pictures of himself at sponsors’ events underline why he is considered such a precious commodity: this is a man who knows how to play the marketing game." Ronaldo counts Nike, Samsung and Emirates among his many endorsements. However, he is "savvy enough to know that nothing sells him better than his body." That was evident in both his recent Vogue cover with supermodel girlfriend Irina Shayk and his "carefully choreographed goal celebration after his penalty in the Champions League final." He ripped off his shirt and stood -- "muscles flexed -- just long enough for the cameras to get their fill" (TELEGRAPH, 6/11).
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