When you hear the name Cristiano Ronaldo, what probably comes to your mind is the image of the exceptionally talented, handsome, and successful football player that has taken the term “world-class” to another pedestal.
Records upon records have been broken by this 36-year old, and the best part is that it seems he is not stopping anytime soon. However, there is more to football when it comes to the Portuguese. He is an avid businessman.
Yes, you heard that right. Ronaldo recently became the first footballer, and only the third sportsperson, after Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather Jnr., to hit the $1bn mark in terms of earnings. He cost over a $100m while swapping Real Madrid for Juventus back in 2018, while he will also earn close to $140m, if he stays for the entirety of his 4-year contract. While his on-pitch successes have brought him a lot of fortune, he has made more off it.
He is 36 now, which means he is closer to the end of his career, and while many players opt to go towards the football line after their playing days are over, Ronaldo has consistently stated that he doesn’t see himself in football after he retires.
Since he clocked 30 years old back in 2015, he has been actively pursuing business opportunities that would continue to fetch him money even after he hangs up his boots.
This article highlights 4 ways in which the mercurial Portuguese has set the bar for other professional footballers when it comes to making money off the pitch.
The name of the game is endorsement
Ronaldo has been able to milk his public persona to good and effective use. He is adored by millions of fans all over the world for his consistency, excellence and longevity. These attributes make him the perfect fit for tons of businesses who jostle for his signature to be their brand ambassadors. His deal with Nike will see him earn at least $19m a year until he is 73 years old. He also has sponsorship deal with Herbalife, KFC, Castrol, and Samsung.
He has been able to leverage the sheer numbers of his followers across different social media platforms. He has 91m followers on Twitter, approximately 125m follow him on Facebook, while a whopping 266m people follow him on Instagram. A combined fan base of 482m means that he commands a high price for endorsements, as brands would pay over the odds to see him promote their goods and services.
Partnerships all the way
For all his success on the pitch, Ronaldo has astute business sense. In 2019, while speaking about his partnership with Insparya, a haircare group, Ronaldo said, “Alopecia is a very big problem in Europe and around the world and we want to help people improve their self-esteem and not be ashamed to come to us. This project is going to be a success, as we want to help the Spaniards and the Spanish economy.”
Ronaldo also has interests in the hospitality industry through his partnership with the Pestana Hotel Group. There are currently five hotels: one each in Lisbon and Madeira, his hometown while finishing touches are being put in place for three locations in New York, Madrid and Marrakech. CR7 Pestana Paris will also open in 2021, with the Portuguese looking at more premium locations to further establish his brand.
Varied Investment Portfolio
He also has a stake in Grupo Mabel Capital alongside Spanish celebrities such as Pau Gasol, Rafa Nadal and Enrique Iglesias. Grupo own the chain of restaurants called Tatel, which has presence in Madrid, Miami and famous resort and holiday town, Ibiza. He has also invested in Zela Restaurants, which has outlets in both London and Ibiza.
Ronaldo’s investments surely won’t seem right if he doesn’t own or run a fitness line. His determination to excel in his career has seen him reach unbelievable levels of fitness. His match recovery regimen and nutrition is well-known, which has seen him score an astonishing 300 goals since turning 30. In 2016, he agreed a partnership with Crunch Fitness, with two CR7 Crunch Gyms still running in Madrid.
He also has a creative agency named 7EGEND, whose credo, according to their website, is to “create innovative solutions and experiences, through the best thinking, strategy, design and engineering”. 7EGEND designed the websites for Valencia FC as well as the store for the Portuguese national team.
CR7, as he is fondly called has well-known businesses and investments in fashion, namely high-end underwear and luxurious fragrances. His underwear line, CR7 underwear sell briefs, trunks, socks for men and boys. He also has a footwear brand that deals with a diverse product range including boots, slippers, casuals, as well as belts, wallets and bags.
Ronaldo does fragrances too. He is actively involved in the ideation, design, branding, as well as production of the different fragrances, selling other products such as aftershaves, shower gels, deodorants, as well as other men’s grooming products. There is also the CR7 Museu, a museum in his native Madeira. It showcases over 100 trophies and medals he has won in his prestigious career till date.
One Last Thing…
Ronaldo has earned praise for his remarkable 19-year football career but even more, praise should go his way for the way he has been able to manage himself off-pitch, which means that if he decides to retire today, he has his pick of what could be the next career for him. An astute businessman indeed.
Written by Ademola Kadiri