One of the most famous deals in football may be in peril after it was revealed that Brazil is planning to renegotiate their existing agreement with Nike.
The president of the Brazilian Confederation of Soccer, Ricardo Teixeira has said that he will meet Nike representatives after the US company signed a deal with France worth nearly three time’s that of the five times World Cup winners. (Nike sponsor French football)
“When the contract with the sponsor was readjusted to $22 million per year, we agreed that we would again discuss a new contract when the sponsor added another country to the list of recipients,” said Teixeira. The president of Brazilian soccer claimed that he plans on meeting with the directors of Nike in the next couple of days.
Nike signed a deal with France that would pay more than $61.5 million per year to dress their national soccer team in their apparel. Teixeira stated that this information will serve as ammunition for his discussion with Nike. According to the president of Brazilian soccer, the deal signed for $22 million was made in March of 2007 and would come into effect in 2008.
The relationship between Brazil and Nike hasn’t always been a smooth one. Back in 1999, just 3 years after the original ground breaking $100 million deal had been signed between the two parties, it was clamed that Nike insisted that a clearly unfit Ronaldo should play a full part in a centenary game against Barcelona, one of 5 annual show piece matches that the contract allowed Nike to organise.
It was also suggested that the US sporting giant influenced Brazil’s team selection for the World Cup final in 1998 which they lost to hosts France. However, a Nike spokesman said at the time that “‘Nike wants to emphasise that the reports of such involvement is absolutely false.” But that didn’t stop Ronaldo being hauled before Brazilian parliamentary investigators to be cross examined on Nike’s role within the national team. His performance in Brasillia was markedly better than his efforts in Paris particularly when he was asked who had been assigned to mark the French play maker and double goal scorer Zinedine Zidane. “I don’t remember” he said “but whoever it was, he didn’t do it very well.”
Back to today and Teixeira has hinted that he has been in contact with representatives from Adidas who were recently in Sao Paulo. However, he denied that Nike’s competition in athletic apparel went after the Brazilian Confederation of Soccer to seek any sort of deal. “The Brazilian soccer team is a world favourite. Everyone wants a piece of it,” said Teixeira.
Just how much they are willing to pay for it remains to be seen.