It appears as though Bayern Munich star Leon Goretzka will be ending his time with Nike. The German midfielder has been spotted wearing custom blacked-out Nike boots in the past several matches. In addition, Goretzka wore Adidas trainers ahead of Champions League clash against Lazio in late February. All signs point to a departure from his current outfitter.
Goretzka has been sponsored by Nike since his first-ever professional match and has always worn the Nike Mercurial boots throughout his career until just now. The Bayern Munich central midfielder is also having the best season of his career at the moment, and provided three assists in a win over Koln on Saturday. So why would Nike be fine with losing an appreciating asset?
Sponsorship deals are seen as investments, and the players’ personality and performance are the largest factors in a players’ brand value. Goretzka has proven to be an advocate for worldwide issues and ties closely with Nike’s values for social advocacy.
However, the ending of their relationship could be a result of a larger business strategy for Nike. The ‘Just Do It’ manufacturer, were primarily strategizing a football market takeover by signing a significant quantity of players, and the shifting of that strategy would have serious implications on their current sponsorships. With players like Neymar, Raheem Sterling, and Robert Lewandowski all leaving, it seems like we might be seeing the start of a massive strategy shift for Nike.
I recommend all readers to check out this great video by Athletic Interest. It expands on this recent trend of footballers leaving Nike, and gives some great insights into why this could be happening.