Football is not just a sport…it’s a sport that lures sportswear brands to connect with end-consumers, rather football freaks, who then play a key role in driving the revenues of the brands. Recently concluded Euro 2020 was a major tournament that brought together the football lovers almost after 2 years and sportswear brands such as Nike and adidas left no stone unturned to capitalise on the same and partnered with famous footballers to endorse their products.
The fact can’t be denied that the Euros are a proven stage for brands and sponsors which want global coverage. This was highlighted when Ronaldo made international headlines at a press conference, removing Coca Cola bottles from the table in front of the cameras and encouraging viewers to drink water instead, reportedly removing US $ 2.84 billion from the company’s market value.
Focusing on the Euro 2020, the online fashion retailer Zalando conducted a research right after the tournament ended and found Nike sponsorships are set to generate three times more revenues in the UK than closest rival adidas and, as search data reveals, the football stars have the greatest UK pulling power for their boot sponsor sportswear brands following Euro 2020.
The research data also tells which player at Euro 2020 had the most valuable feet of the tournament, earning the highest volume of searches for their signature boots from spending consumers. And despite his early exit from the tournament, Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo easily claims the top spot with a search for his famous Nike boots every six minutes – over three times more online searches than any other player.
Based on current search volume, Ronaldo’s Nike Mercurial Superfly CR7 ‘Spark Positivity’ boots have the potential to help Nike earn £ 22 million each year from search traffic alone.
Marcus Rashford’s feet have been named the ‘most valuable’ from the Euro 2020 England team and occupy the fifth place overall – worth £ 883,008 annually in the UK market alone. The England star attracts a search every 137 minutes from consumers for his Nike boots.
Jack Grealish’s rising popularity also sees him being the only other England star ranking in the top 10, with a UK annual value of £ 739,032 and a search every 156 minutes. The Aston Villa man comes seventh in the tournament, and receives more consumer interest than Eden Hazard or Bruno Fernandes.
The research was conducted as part of the launch of the football and football boots categories, analysing online search volumes and value added for the boots of players who competed at the Euro 2020 tournament. Using this data, a calculation can be done as to which players have the strongest sponsorship pull, which sportswear brands are the big winners of the tournament, and how much UK revenue they can generate for the global sports clothing giants.
Another victim of a shock round-of-16 exit, France’s Paul Pogba takes second spot overall, with a UK online search for his boots every 21 minutes. The midfielder was the most valuable footwear asset for adidas at Euro 2020 – his name brings in a potential of £ 4.4 million for adidas in online boot searches each year. With his contract worth a reported £ 3 million per year, the deal represents great value for money for the sportswear brand.
It’s worth noting here that the revenues that’s being talked about here is generated mainly from the search traffic of the sponsored boots online and the figures don’t include the sales figures that get converted due to this online traffic, which is obviously much higher than these search traffic revenue generation.
Pogba’s France teammate Kylian Mbappé is in third place, attracting a UK search for his boots every 43 minutes, which is worth a potential £ 2.8 million each year to Nike.
Here is rank-wise detail of the sportswear brands’ endorsement:
|Rank||National team||Brand sponsor/boot worn||Player||Searches every X minutes||Potential annual revenue (brand £)||Potential daily revenue (brand £)||Potential revenue per minute (brand £)|
|1||Portugal||Nike Mercurial Superfly CR7 ‘Spark Positivity’||Cristiano Ronaldo||6||£ 22,225,554||£ 60,892||£ 42.29|
|2||France||Adidas Predator Freak.1 Low||Paul Pogba||21||£ 4,428,000||£ 12,132||£ 8.42|
|3||France||Nike Mercurial Superfly VIII Elite||Kylian Mbappé||43||£ 2,842,182||£ 7,787||£ 5.41|
|4||Wales||Adidas X 19.1||Gareth Bale||61||£ 1,555,200||£ 4,261||£ 2.96|
|5||England||Nike Mercurial Superfly VIII Elite||Marcus Rashford||137||£ 883,008||£ 2,419||£ 1.68|
|6||Belgium||Nike Phantom GT Elite DF||Kevin De Bruyne||146||£ 827,820||£ 2,268||£ 1.58|
|7||England||Nike Phantom GT Elite||Jack Grealish||156||£ 739,032||£ 2,025||£ 1.41|
|8||Belgium||Nike Mercurial Vapor 14||Eden Hazard||162||£ 712,638||£ 1,952||£ 1.36|
|9||Spain||Adidas Copa Sense.1||David De Gea||168||£ 561,600||£ 1,539||£ 1.07|
|10||Portugal||Nike Mercurial Vapor 14||Bruno Fernandes||175||£ 659,850||£ 1,808||£ 1.26|
(The formula used to calculate the potential daily revenue and per minute revenue is as below – Brand revenue per day = Per minute revenue x 1440)
Analysing sales data, a leading retail manager at Zalando, says, “We can’t overestimate how much brands gain from sponsorship deals. Some footballers hold huge contracts, but it’s a calculated investment: this search data emphasises the immense value of being associated with top athletes. Getting world-famous sporting personalities to wear your products is a proven driver of sales. So far in 2021, the three top boot brands have had around 99 per cent of sales, with the market leader alone accounting for 67 per cent.”
He adds, “New football boot releases can create a huge buzz, particularly in the run-up to a tournament like Euro 2020. But design is becoming more and more important in boots. They need a wow factor to get attention, especially when it’s pretty standard to have a new boot launch every month.”
As per the Zalando person’s opinion, “But nothing makes people want a new pair quite like seeing top players strut their stuff in them. So when Hazard jinks past two defenders in his streamlined boots, or Pogba scores a scorcher with his eye-catching new footwear, that’s when these huge sponsorship deals turn into people searching online for the boots.”
Nike was top-scoring boot brand at Euro 2020
The incredible pulling power of Cristiano Ronaldo has helped Nike to cement its place at the top of the football boots league table. After adidas, in second place, Puma is represented most often in the top 50 (with eight players), but Nike dominates the European scene. Here are major excerpts:
- Almost half (46 per cent) of the top 50 most searched-for players at Euro 2020 wear Nike boots.
- This equates to an annual search volume of 136,560 – 71 per cent of player/boot searches.
- Nike dominates the top 10 for player/boot search volume, with seven players there being sponsored by the brand.
- The closest competitor, adidas, accounts for 34 per cent of player/boot searches.
- The annual search volume generated by adidas players is 26 per cent of the total. Nike sponsorships generate nearly three times more than adidas deals.
- Paul Pogba is adidas’ star man in Europe, with the second highest number of player/boot searches. The Manchester United and France midfielder generates a search every 21 minutes.