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Why is Cristiano Ronaldo’s Social Media Presence Worth 1 Billion to Nike?

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The Real Madrid star has generated nearly $500 million in media value for Nike so far this year through mentions, photos and videos on his vast social media network which reaches 249 million fans. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Source: Why Cristiano Ronaldo’s $1 Billion Nike Deal May Be A Bargain For Sportswear Giant

A few weeks ago the question was asked if athletes or celebrities are more important as endorsers. Kurt Badenhausen may have just solved this problem for everyone by analyzing sports stars on Instagram utilizing data from Hookit. Here is a second article:

When I ask the question “Why is Ronaldo worth a billion?” (I always want to put my pinky to the corner of my mouth like Dr. Evil when I say one billion/million) I understand the idea of marketing so I get that his ability to reach people at a core level where they are more enthusiastic and supportive is worth more than an ad during the Super Bowl. The reason I ask is not rhetorical, it’s in regard to questions I’ve asked of people in the industry when I bring up Kanye West and adidas. I’ve often been told that Kanye’s reach can’t be measured in the sales that adidas has made. I actually kind of discussed this in the following article:

Are Sneakerheads Really “Influential”?

When industry analysts state that Kanye was signed to adidas for a year before he designed or made a shoe and that when he did make the shoe, it was limited and therefore didn’t generate a lot of money for adidas, isn’t this idea undercut by utilizing Hookit to establish the influence of an athlete?

Sneakerheads can argue all day that Kanye signing to adidas served as one of the biggest marketing scoops for the brand in the past few years. For that matter, if an athlete with a major following is worth X amount of dollars (A billion if you’re Ronaldo) because of his social presence, will someone draw the conclusion that the sneakerhead culture is more influential than anyone wants to acknowledge considering the amount of tweets, IG posts and hashtags created in and by the culture?

I have yet to see a brand give an entertainer a lifetime deal. I’d like to put to rest the idea that athletes and entertainers are equally important. The day a brand finds an entertainer that is worth a billion dollars then this argument can be resumed. Which leads me to my irritation with how women athletes are treated in regard to sponsorships. I guess I will leave that for another post.

Use the source links to check out Kurt’s articles on Ronaldo and the Social Media influence of athletes.