At every major international event, the focus is always on the sportsmen. The World Cup is no different and with the players coming into limelight, there was an excellent chance for many African footballers to radically improve their brand value.
Already, many African stars have a slew of corporate partners but many more would have been hoping to court a few interests which could lead to positive conversations but with the tournament over, it is time for us to look back and review what the World Cup meant for African footballers and attempt to determine which brands got strengthened or weakened.
In determining the strength of a footballer’s value, larger emphasis is placed on his actual ability. Brands prefer to place their logos on the best and as a result, only those who perform at the top of their game will consistently rake in the big bucks.
Before Brazil 2014, Yaya Toure was Africa’s biggest name and icon with an annual salary of more than $20 million. His endorsement deals with sportswear giants PUMA and Ford net him a reported $2.5 million a year and while he did not exactly set the stage alight at the World Cup, his sponsors will take solace in the fact that their star man will most likely be a leading light once again for Manchester City in the Premier and Champions League- both of which are commercial heavens. Nigeria’s Victor Moses is another with a multitude of corporate relationships but his showing at the World Cup as well as an uncertain future with Chelsea FC may mean that his phone will not be ringing off the hook soon. Regardless, Moses’ deals with Globacom, Pepsi and Samsung (alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi-both of whom rake in a combined $44 million annually from endorsements) means that his face will cover billboards for a while yet.
Still in Nigeria, the enigmatic John Mikel Obi failed to deliver at the World Cup with the ink on his recent contract with Amstel Malta barely dried. He enjoys a big reputation given that he plays for Chelsea and earns in excess of $7 milion annually but Mikel’s current focus will probably be on trying to find a new club and redefine his career after almost a decade at Chelsea with the London club reportedly set to let him go for as a low as $8.5 million.
In his defence, Didier Drogba could have done little to prevent Ivory Coast’s failure as many regard him as one of the few CIV players who could leave Brazil with their heads held high following a game-changing impact in the Ivory Coast’s first game. He may have finally retired from international football but Nike, Pepsi and Konami who jointly pay Drogba around $5 milion annually will be pleased that the big striker’s reputation is intact. Another player who could have had a last hurray at Brazil 2014 is Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o. Eto’o, said to be on the brink of a move to Roma after a single year $7 million deal with Chelsea, was a peripheral figure at the World Cup but will be hoping that his move to Roma, should it materialize, can give him a platform for one last push in European football and possibly help him court more sponsors to boost his endorsements earning of $3 million from Ford and PUMA.
Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan almost fired Ghana into the second round and even though their campaign was shrouded in controversy over the payment of $3 million in World Cup bonuses, the flamboyant forward will look back with some measure of satisfaction.His current club Al Ain pay him $9.3 million a year and with endorsements from PUMA, Unibank and Melcom. A move back to continental Europe may see him earn more from endorsements but very few clubs will be willing to make his current staggering pay.
Finally, Vincent Enyeama’s eye catching performances have seen him become the subject of multiple internet frenzies which have spiraled into viral memes. The common thread is Enyeama’s goalkeeping abilities and saves with many coining witty advertisements taglines based on wordplay for a possible brand ambassadorial role for a savings account of a major Nigerian bank. So far, there has been no news on that front but should it occur, Enyeama will be one who directly snagged a few precious dollars because of his World Cup performances. (VENTURES AFRICA)