Neymar Jr (Neymar) is considered one of the worlds best football players (soccer). He represents not only Brazil in the FIFA World Cup, nor PSG as his club, but also a lot of brands through lucrative endorsement deals.
His many advertising collaborations have created its own expression: ”Neymarketing”
”The good-looking boy is everywhere in Brazil. On television, dressed up as Elvis, Tarzan or as a martian, he sells ice-cream or dances virtually naked to launch an underwear brand. He is on websites and at promotional events. Brazilian teenagers ask for ‘a Neymar’ at the barber.”
(Brazil backs Neymar all the way)
The sports career
Neymar was discovered at a school tournament and signed at the age of 13 for FC Santos, the club of megastar Pelé. Neymar’s parents gave 10 percent of the ”contract”, which is said to be worth 450 reals (€100), to an evangelical church.
The youngster later signed his first professional contract when he was 17, making approximately €1.0 million per year.
In 2013, Neymar completed his €81.1 million transfer from FC Santos to FC Barcelona and signed a contract making him around €10 million a year.
Three years later, he signed an improved 5-year deal with FC Barcelona, worth €17.5 million per year. Its said that performance bonus and image rights add another €5-8 million yearly.
In 2017, Neymar went to Paris Saint-Germain. The French club paid €222 million release clause to FC Barcelona and Neymar signed a 5-year contract worth €296 million.
But that’s ”just” the sporting career. Let’s head over to the commercial one, by many named as ‘neymarketing’.
40+ sponsorship deals throughout the years
We will take a look at Neymar’s many endorsements and sponsorship deals.
According to Sportcal, Neymar has signed a total of 39 deals across 26 industries. However, a manual attempt to review the various advertising collaborations lands more than that.
Unfortunately, my Portuguese isn’t the best. So in this article, you will get ”some” of the deals I found.
A note on social media endorsements
In the modern media landscape, it’s hard to define whether a commercial partnership should be considered a ”sponsorship” or ”endorsement”. With social media, the value of a sponsored post from a superstar can be more worth than a television campaign.
Personally, I categorize the difference by the time and depth of the partnership.
- Sponsorship: long-term, many years and/or campaigns in different channels. Multifold purpose.
- Endorsement: short-term, limited campaign or sponsored post. Major purpose often action-based (sales).
Data provided by Hookit revealed that Neymar had made 872 social media posts between May 2017 and May 2018. These posts generated 1.3 billion interactions and video views. That means approximately 1.5m likes, shares, comments and views per post.
Neymar made 255 social media posts with sponsor images or mentions, which produced $125 million in media value on 160 million interactions and video views over the last year.
All in all, Neymar has made $71.6m from the sport and $88m from sponsorship between 2013 and 2017, according to Forbes.
Here are some of the deals, year by year.
Neymar has played in Nike shoes since 2007, but in 2009 he got a personal contract with the sports brand.
Let’s consider this ”viral” video the beginning of ‘neymarketing’.
In 2016, Nike remastered the clip.
Nowadays, the posts are there, every other day.
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) July 5, 2018
April 29, 2010, Panasonic appointed Neymar as its eco-ambassador at Estadio do Pacaembu football stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He appeared at the event alongside the children of Panasonic do Brasil Limitada employees.
”I’m very happy to associate my image with Panasonic, one of the largest technology companies in the world who has prioritized the protection of the environment. I’ll be a spokesperson for environmental initiatives for my generation, which certainly can and should change the world we live in.” (Panasonic)
Neymar was signed by Red Bull in 2010 and has since then participated in many events (as well as had his own designed Red Bull cans).
One of telecom company Claro’s commercial with Neymar was actually banned. The ad showed Ronaldo (Brazilian Ronaldo, that is) taking advantage of his ”free call-time” by ringing Neymar in the early hours of the morning.
The publicity regulator in Brazil became inundated with calls from people complaining that it encouraged children to make nuisance phone calls.
This a guaraná-flavored soft drink is originating in Brazil and manufactured and distributed by AmBev, a part of Anheuser-Busch.
Over the years, the company has used many Brazilian stars, including Lucas, Bernard, and Ronaldo, to promote their products.
The deal between Guaraná Antarctica and Neymar run until 2016.
Achei a minha, galera !! E vocês ? Alguém aí já achou a lata azul do Guaraná Antarctica ? Corre que é edição limitada ! pic.twitter.com/KrnelKdb
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) January 11, 2013
Neymar stripped to his underwear for Lupo clothing.
One of the commercials was criticized for being called ‘homophobic’. ”In the ad, Neymar seems eager to model in just his underwear for some women who have come into a clothing store. But when a man enters and asks to see the latest underwear, the soccer star sneaks out the door lest he is ogled by a man.”, described Cyd Ziegler.
Later, Lupo included Neymar’s son David Lucca in a series of printed ads (behind the scenes video below).
“Children always love to imitate their parents in the way they dress, walk, etc. Lupo has developed a line of pajamas for parents and children thinking about this.”, said Carolina Pires, commercial director of Lupo.
She added: “Given that Neymar has been the brand’s image for the last three years, nothing more logical than to think of him and his son to disclose this line of pajamas”.
In 2011, Neymar signed an 11-year contract with Nike. The agreement gave the player the full amount of the contract, in contrast to some of his other sponsorship deals those days, which were signed in partnership with his club.
In April 2011, Panasonic and Neymar signed a two-year global contract. Neymar became the global publicity character for the company, including its work with the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In November 2011, Folha de S.Paulo published the first announcement of Santander including the new advertising star.
The catch-phrase at the announcement was ”Neymar in Brazil: Together, you can do it”.
The bank has used the superstar’s social media channels to promote its commitment to South American football.
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) July 23, 2014
Neymar had a deal with foot deodorant Tenys Pé Baruel. A couple of years later, FC Barcelona (which was Neymar’s club then), signed a deal with the company to make ”the number one foot deodorant”*.
(*The competitive situation is unclear for Sports Biz Trends.)
If you are looking for the perfect car battery, the answer might be Baterias Helar. 🚗
Together with German star Tomas Müller, Neymar performed in several Volkswagen commercials through his personal sponsorship contract.
By the way, have you ever considered Neymar as the perfect car salesman? Not? Think again. 😅
L’Oreal released a limited edition of the emblematic male perfume Drakkar Noir, exclusively signed by Neymar.
Mentos, a global brand of Perfetti Van Melle, launched three new flavors of candy, chosen by its consumers – and Neymar.
Since the beginning of the partnership, the Mentos brand registered a 13 percent increase in the volume of products, marketed with the image of Neymar.
Panasonic was not an official FIFA or Team Brazil sponsor for the 2014 World Cup, so it was unable to show up at the actual game venues.
The campaign ”Neymar Jr. Chant” was created from fans’ messages and the best Neymar-goals and moves on Panasonic Facebook Pages. Lyrics were created from fans’ messages, a beat was created from the chosen Top 10 goals and moves.
Within 3 days of the release, it had over 500 000 views and news coverage in over 10 countries, worth $5m of advertising (Bestadsontv).
The deal with Baterias Helias was renewed for four years, valued to approximately $5m per year.
To save money, the company decided to re-use the press picture from a couple of years ago, just photoshop it a bit.
(No, they didn’t.)
Before the goals and the glory, there is an ”unseen game” played in the locker room. Beats by Dre showed this by creating the campaign ”The Game before the Game”.
Neymar featured in several Beats campaigns, as he has ha 5-year deal with the company. The commercial below with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Blaise Matuidi, Cesc Fàbregas, Luis Suárez, Mario Götze, LeBron James, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Rafaella Beckran, Rio Ferdinand, Serena Williams, Sydney Leroux, Stuart Scott, and Thierry Henry.
Is it possible to unlock a motorsports audience through a FIFA Football World Cup 2014 sponsorship?
Castrol: ”Hold my motor oil.”
Castrol brought the Brazilian footballer and Gymkhana king, Ken Block, together to create ”Footkhana”, a global phenomenon that became the most shared football World Cup advert of all time.
The campaign resulted in 17 million views and widespread coverage with a reach of over 1 billion, according to the agency.
(Personally, I was skeptic as always, but it’s actually quite fun. Take a look at the video.)
International fashion brand Police launched their ”Spring/Summer eyewear campaign”, with imagery featuring no other than Neymar. 😎
In 2014, Unilever (Rexona) brought out a new product called ‘Fanatics’. The promotion with Neymar gave supporters the opportunity to win various prizes with imaginative posts.
“Gillette is a brand that is known for its precision and always looks for the best, something that I look for in my game. I feel honored to be part of the Gillette team that has historically brought the greats from this sport together.” (Soccerex)
Neymar had a 2-year contract with the antiseptic mouthwash brand Listerine.
Don’t really know what more to say about that.
Gambling and poker brand PokerStars had one of the worlds most wide-spread endorsement strategies – and of course, there was a chair left for Neymar.
”Growing up and playing football every day has made me a competitive person. When I’m not playing football, playing poker and competing against my teammates on the road or in home games with friends is one of my favorite things to do.” (Pokernews)
The Brazilian superstar joined jeans manufacturer Replay for a couple of campaigns.
He has been starring in one commercial together with compatriot Alessandra Ambrosio.
After the successful campaign 2014-2015 with Rexona, Unilever renewed with Neymar.
Neymar was unveiled as a global brand ambassador of workout and wellbeing mobile application Nabufit.
The partnership included image and naming rights, as well as training videos.
Neymar was confirmed by McDonald’s Brazil as the brand’s new advertising star for the 2018 Russian World Cup.
On December 7, Neymar made the first photo session for the campaign and also had his son David Lucca with him, to star in the process.
This coffee brand is Brazil’s most famous export (well, after Neymar of course).
In April 2018, supermarkets across the country were participating in the ”Shirts of Neymar”-promotion carried out by Pilão.
The four collectible models tell the story of the athlete through the numbers of shirts that he wore throughout his career.
With a contract valid until 2020, the Brazilian star became the ambassador of the brand.
The partnership has primarily been activated in Neymar’s social media.
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) April 11, 2018
Police renewed the terms with Neymar, who once again models their eyewear collection.
In 2017, Neymar for the first time lent his name and image value to a beer brand, Proibida.
The purpose of the campaign was to re-brand Proibida with ”optimism and positivity as a foundation”.
The Brazilian manufacturer of mobile devices established a partnership with Neymar in 2017.
”Two brands that innovate and are the face of the public interested in young behavior are together on the lawns”, Quantum said.
The mobile technology company launches, together with Neymar, the ”Neymar Experience app”. The app teaches skills to the users along with various challenges, nutritional, fitness and training tips.
Users can upload to the app their attempts at the challenges and Neymar selects the best posts to share them on his social media accounts.
The airline, which has been the Official Carrier of the Brazilian national team since 2013, hired Neymar, as a poster boy, but DID NOT use the star in the new campaign.
Read that twice, then the magic.
The explanation for the rather uncommon ad was that the star needs to use all his time to train and be fully prepared for the FIFA World Cup. So instead of using Neymar in the commercial, the company ”ambushed themselves” with an actor – and story.
There are few industries that are new for Neymar, but by becoming a ”publicity boy” of Rico, brand of XP Investments, he and his agents found a former blank spot.
The online brokerage operates in the fixed and variable income market.
The endorsement deal with Chinese electronics brand runs for two years and will see the 26-year-old star in TCL television and print commercials to promote the company’s Multimedia-TV business.
In June, Neymar has been unveiled as an ‘OPPO friend’ and will be seen promoting the company’s smartphones during the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Chinese phone company previously worked with the Brazilian through its partnership with FC Barcelona.
One thing marketers should note from Neymar’s many advertising ”gigs” is that most of the companies document a lot of behind-the-scenes material. The clips are more often better than the TV format ones, at least for social media and the ”closest” fanbase.
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) July 4, 2018
Aside from football contracts and sponsorship deals, Neymar also earns money through other business and media projects. It’s hard to list the financial one where he is a founder or partner, but the media assignment are cool.
In 2017, appeared in the action film xXx: Return of Xander Cage, which likely earned him a couple of dollars.
The ”neymojis” is similar to the ”kimojis” of Kim Kardashian and the ”justmojis” of Justin Bieber.
Instituto Neymar Jr. (INJR) is a non-profit civil society organization dedicated to social causes and serving thousands of children, adolescents, and their families. The project is designed by Neymar and his family.
Neymar Sports donates 1 percent of all its revenue to INJR, which seems like a nice finish to this summary of Neymar’s sponsorship and endorsement portfolio.
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