Boot Deals: Inside Look At Footballers' Cleats Contracts - Money, Small Print & Sole Plates

Tuesday, 3 March 2020
Whenever a player is wearing blackout boots in an official match, it is a clear sign that he has no valid boot contract. There are many secret things about players and their boot contracts.

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Football Boot Deals - Most Important Points

Bleacher Report's Tom Williams gives us an inside look at footballers' boot deals. We give a summary of what is most important to know about footballers and their boot deals.

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have the biggest deals in the world of football. Cristiano Ronaldo's lifetime deal with Nike is reported to be worth over $1 billion, while Leo Messi earns around 12 million USD / year. Superstars like Pogba (3 million GBP / year) , Neymar (around 3 million Euro / year), Dybala and Lukaku get a relatively low seven-figure amount of money.

However, what is very important in those deals are the bonuses. In example, Nike has agreed a deal with Neymar that will see him earn 1 million USD for his first Ballon d'Or, and an additional 1 million USD on top of the 1 million USD for each time he wins it again, until the fourth occasion. Thereafter, he will be awarded $4m for each subsequent success.

"With boots your deal will include a retainer, a bonus for playing a certain number of Premier League games, another for goals scored, then Champions League games and goals," the former England striker wrote. "In 2007, the year Liverpool reached the Champions League final and I played pretty much every game for England, I doubled the value of my deal."

It's Not Only About Money - Boots Itself Are Very Important For Players

Unlike it is the case with other advertising deals of footballers like Messi's deal with Lays, the soccer cleats itself are important for the players performance. Therefore, players select their boots carefully and also received custom boots from their brands in order to have a good fitting cleat, which is the most important thing for most footballers.

Nike don't just give you their boots to wear. They'll make whatever modifications you want"Nike are great," Liverpool midfielder James Milner wrote in his book, Ask a Footballer. "They don't just give you their boots to wear. They'll make whatever modifications you want. I've had a few foot injuries in the past, so they have produced a carbon plate for me to put in the bottom of the boot and make it more rigid. Any change you might want to make, no matter how small, they're willing to do it."

It's Not Only About The Boots Itself - Endorsement Deals Always Also Cover Clothing (And Often Also) Skincare, Electronic Goods, Headphones And Sunglasses

The endorsement deals of most footballers does not only cover the boots but quite logically also the sports clothing. It is also common for deals to include a range of products not related to football at all (at first glance), such as electronic goods, sunglasses and headphones.

"I've seen times when a player has signed a boot deal thinking it's just for wearing, say, Adidas clothes, for example, but it actually covers moisturisers, skincare, electronic goods, headphones and sunglasses. Another brand approaches the player and says, 'Do you want to model our new skincare range?' The player says, 'Yeah, that fits in with my idea of the type of stuff I want to be doing.' But they then look back at the boot deal and realise that that's within the remit of that boot deal. Or even worse, they go ahead and sign the deal, and realise they're possibly in breach of their boot deal, which creates significant problems."

It's Not Only About The Current Superstar - Brands Try To Sign Players As Young As Possible

Brands are trying to discover the next superstars and are therefore already singing deals with teenagers such as BVB's wonder kid Youssoufa Moukoko.

"Aided and abetted by parents who have an eye on getting their kids into football, these deals are getting [made when players are] younger and younger," sports marketing expert Tim Crow told Bleacher Report. "The trend is very much about signing up players long-term as young as possible."

14-Years Old BVB Wonderkid Moukoko Signs Mega 10-Year Nike Deal Worth Up To 10 Million Euro

Other important things about boot deals include that the different brands to not have talks with players who are engaged by a rival brand, that there are many more bonuses and details included in a deal and that there are many more obstacles for players, e.g. if they are sponsored by the rival brand of their kit supplier.

Share your thoughts in the comments below and check out the full story on Bleacher Report.
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