Family owned and run JBS Textile Group A/S (founded in 1939) based in Denmark, has recently signed a licensing agreement with footbal star Cristiano Ronaldo for the launch of Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 line of underwear and socks. The line has been designed by New York based Richard Chai who used to work for Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and TSI.
Ronaldo’s new licensing agreement is believed to exceed $1 million , considering his previous underwear licensing agreement with Emporio Armani topped $1,4 million. Ronaldo has been endorsing Castrol ($6 million for 3 years), Nike (over $25 million), Herbalife and more recently, luxury jewelry and watches brand Jacob&Co.
Mark Borkowski, the publicist and media commentator, told The Independent daily that footballers know they need to be quick to make their fortune: “Every footballer knows that there is a sell-by date tattooed on their rump,” he said. “The machine around Ronaldo isn’t as sleek or well-oiled as Beckham’s operation, but that doesn’t mean to say he can’t be a high-end-fashion achiever.”
According to research conducted by Simon Chadwick, a professor of sport business strategy and marketing at Coventry University, Ronaldo has many of the qualities required to make a strong sports-player brand. However, Ronaldo does have some challenges to overcome in pursuing a global brand for himself, Prof. Chadwick added.
“Unlike, say, Beckham, he has a reputation as being individualistic and quite selfish, which for a lot of sponsors and people isn’t a great brand proposition. There’s also a feeling that his management has a reputation for simply taking the money, rather than necessarily fashioning a brand, and that Ronaldo is just a famous footballer trying to make even more money.
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