Tom Bogert, CBS Local Sports
In an ironic twist for one of the two best soccer players on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo’s right arm must be getting tired. On top of the standard autograph circuit, Ronaldo has signed two gargantuan contracts this week.
First, the 31 year old re-upped his deal with Spanish giants Real Madrid and followed that up by signing a new lifetime deal with Nike. TMZ are reporting the undisclosed financial figures to be similar to the $1 billion lifetime deal LeBron James signed.
Ronaldo is synonymous with Nike these days and has shipped in a boatload of goals for Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team wearing the swoosh since penning his first Nike deal in 2003.
“I have a great relationship with this brand, I have great friends here in the company,” said Ronaldo in a statement released by Nike. “We work as a family too, this is my brand.”
The timing of the deals is interesting. At his age is typically when soccer players exit their prime and start losing key battles with the undefeated father time.
That whole spiel is undercut by the world ‘typical’ because Ronaldo is far from that in all aspects. He’s basically a robot: the soccer automaton designed in a lab to be the paragon of goal scorers. He’s claimed that he’s never had a drop of alcohol in his life and his physical appearance leans closer to Greek God than ‘typical’.
Even if his play begins to slip, the uniqueness of international soccer means he can retain value. Unlike traditional American professional sports, he still will have lucrative professional offers unlike when an NFL star loses a step. He can skip away from the height of European soccer where he currently is and sign a megadeal in China or here in the United States, something he’s been rumored to have one eye on for years.
At any rate, Ronaldo has surely generated Swoosh more than enough money. Irrespective of the fantasy figures he’ll be getting paid, he’s earned the company the right to receive a blank check.