Nike has ended its 15-year partnership with Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr.. According to multiple media reports including The Business Times and South China Morning Post, both parties were unable to come to an agreement on how much the footballer would be paid for renewing his contract.
Nike previously signed an 11-year deal with Neymar (pictured) for US$105 million, which is due to expire in 2022, media reports said. The footballer first signed with the brand when he was just 13 years old and a player with Brazilian club Santos FC. Meanwhile, media reports alleged that Neymar is in talks with Puma. Nike and Puma declined to comment on Marketing's queries.
In 2017, Nike and Neymar launched the footballer's first signature "Written in the stars" Mercurial Vapor, which shares the story of him actively fulfilling his destiny. The footballer said back then that he grew up wearing Mercurial so it was a dream to have his story on the boot. Earlier this year, Nike rolled out the special edition Neymar Jr. Mercurial Vapor Jogo Prismático, with the "Ousadia" (daring) and "Alegria" (joy) printed on the heels of the boot corresponding to the tattoos on his legs. The latest shoe also employs his new NJR signature logo, with the previous NJR logo used as a secondary detail within the pattern.
Neymar was embroiled in a rape scandal last year, and Nike said it will “closely monitor” the situation. He was featured in a Nike ad titled "Dream Further" for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and a mixtape released in 2017 to attract the younger crowd. Meanwhile, Mastercard to suspend its advertising campaign with him. Mastercard apparently halted marketing activations with the footballer on grounds of rape allegations until the issue has been resolved, according to Brazilian TV network Globo.
The footballer previously appeared in a global campaign for Mastercard titled “The Red Ball”, which showed him engaging in a mission with other professional athletes such as Lionel Messi, Ana Ivanovic and Dan Carter, to retrieve a dog’s lost red ball.
Neymar currently plays for both the Brazil national team and Paris Saint-Germain, which recently lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Among the list of other brands Neymar Jr. works with include Qatar Airways, Red Bull, Gillette, McDonalds and Beats by Dre.