Cristiano Ronaldo has been asked by Nike to withdraw a line of trainers from his recently launched footwear collection because they competed directly with the American sportswear giant who pay him around £5.5m a year in sponsorship.
In collaboration with Portuguese company Portugal Footwear, Ronaldo launched the new line called CR7 Footwear at recent Milan and Las Vegas fashion fairs and the collection included sports shoes.
According to reports in Portugal, Ronaldo would have needed Nike’s prior approval and that was not forthcoming when they became aware of the potential conflict of interests.
With both sporting giants keen not to antagonise the other or endanger their lucrative partnership a compromise has been reached with the footwear range consisting of smart suit-shoes and casual loafers still readily available but the trainers, for the moment, shelved.
Ronaldo’s agreement with Nike means he must wear the label whenever he is not contractually obliged to do otherwise – as is the case when he plays for Real Madrid whose kit-makers are Adidas.
Nike have no problem with the second highest earning sportsman on the planet (behind Floyd Mayweather) promoting his own brand of pants and shirts but it seems they have drawn the line at the latest extension of his clothing empire.
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