In 2009, when Cristiano Ronaldo was still a Manchester United player, he got infuriated over the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t want him to enjoy the full benefits of taking on commercial endorsements. It was the same issue with David Beckham and both players later opted to leave Old Trafford for Real Madrid.
Back then, Ferguson believed that commercial endorsements took the players’ mind off the game and some sports commentators actually believed in it, although the brand and player have to work for only about 20 days a year. However, the other side that was overlooked by Ferguson is that commercial endorsements, ‘exploitations’ according to Ferguson – can give the player, not just the brand – the right exposure. The more positive the exposure gets, the more beneficial for both parties.
In 2014, after Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford, the effect of his wishes seem to linger in the air. According to sport news reports, Wayne Rooney, the captain of the club can only manage to get about $3M in commercial endorsements in 2013, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are able to get more than $20M in commercial endorsements each.
Looking at the performances of Wayne Rooney, many wonder why he hasn’t been popular on the side of gaining much from personal endorsements, seeing the tremendous performance the player puts forth on the field of play. Some people have claimed that the slow interests of brands in Rooney have to do with his involvement in prostitution, infidelity and temper.
Then came the opportunity in February 2014 for Rooney to grab the headlines in a positive note. The player ended months of speculation about his career by signing a four-year contract with Manchester united. The contract was worth £300,000 per week. By then, he had a year and a half left of his former contract, so the February 2014 deal saw him working with Manchester United till June 2019, with a contract that would put nothing less than $26m a year in his pocket.
It is the biggest annual salary witnessed by the English Premier League, one that saw Old Trafford owing Rooney up to $136m between 2014 and 2019. Take that, add commercial rights to it, and Rooney can easily be referred to as one of the greatest footballers of all time, including him in the list of the higest-paid athletes in the world, currently at #43 according to Forbes. He could move up that ladder, as the time goes on and new commercial endorsements come his way.
He hasn’t done poorly on the other side as well. Former Manchester United coach David Moyes said that he really enjoyed working with Rooney since he put Rooney into the Everton first team in 2003. Since that time, Moyes said that Rooney has been developing his incredible talent. He’s got experience, he’s got ability and a desire to succeed. Many people still believe that Wayne Rooney is the best player in England today.
Although Nike and Samsung have both got him in their good books, EA Sports ended their seven-year commercial endorsement with him in 2012 and ever since, endorsements have been slow to arrive for the player. But with the deal’s arrival in February, there were strong indications that Rooney will soon move up the ladder as far as endorsements are concerned. It was claimed the commercial staff in Manchester United will help find the right commercial deals that fit the most popular player in England’s biggest football club.
With several months passed now, from the day Rooney signed that contract that made him earn £300,000 per week in Manchester United, nothing spectacular has happened to Rooney when it comes to getting endorsement off the football pitch. However, there’s still plenty of time to pass before the world could lose hope on one its most popular players.