Lisbon, Feb 6 (IANS) Cristiano Ronaldo is 31 years old, with his playing career still in full swing and his entrepreneurial profile strengthening with each passing year to capitalize globally on his brand value.
In just a matter of months, the player has strengthened his presence outside soccer grounds by launching a line of footwear and signed an alliance with a Portuguese hotel chain, which adds to his original forms of promotion, such as the release of a film about his life and the creation of a traveling museum with his most precious “treasures”, reports EFE.
This concern for business is unusual in the field of sport and is more common among stars in other sectors, principal of the Portuguese IPAM marketing school, Daniel Sa, told EFE.
“It is not normal, but I think it represents a trend. “Cristiano Ronaldo has not been for a long time just a soccer player, but a world celebrity on a par with film stars, artists or politicians.”
In his opinion, it is the “global reputation” enjoyed by the player of Real Madrid and captain of the Portuguese national team which allows him to “venture as an entrepreneur”.
In order to expand his image and enjoy greater popularity if possible, the player was recently the star of the biographical film “Ronaldo” whose premiere took place in London last November.
In the same vein he started last year the “traveling museum” that traces the career of Cristiano and traveled to Lisbon and Madrid, and is currently in Dubai.
The IPAM calculated, using data from 2014, the value of the player as a trademark at 54 million euros ($60 million), a figure that according to its director “has not stopped rising” because his popularity is growing.
The business side of Ronaldo’s career share some parallels with the sports side, especially at management level, because his agent Jorge Mendes and his company Gestifute are also behind these operations.
Mendes is considered a “father” by the player himself, who during the presentation of the alliance with the tourism group Pestana thanked both his agent and the rest of his team for managing the deal.
The agreement with the Portuguese chain is expected to bear fruit in the opening of four new hotels, located in Funchal (the capital of his native Madeira), Lisbon, Madrid and New York.
Beside the deal with the Pestana Group, the player has a growing interest in real estate, as it was confirmed that he bought a luxury apartment in central Lisbon valued at 2 million euros ($2.2 million).
Another area of interest for Ronaldo is fashion, as evidenced by his footwear line “CR7 Footwear” born through an agreement with a company in Guimaraes specializing in shoes and whose main destinations currently are the countries in the Middle East and Latin America, with an average price of 135 euros ($150) for the pair.
The billionaire status of Ronaldo, his status as a global star and his ambition in business contrast with his modest origins in Madeira, where he was born 31 years ago in a humble family, who saw very early his potential as a professional soccer player and who now leads a budding career in the business world.