Bale vs Ronaldo will become Adidas vs Nike as rivalry grows
Adidas to offer Bale millions to take on Nike star Ronaldo in Real Madrid marketing war
GARETH BALE and Cristiano Ronaldo may be team-mates at Real Madrid, but there is little doubt that the two most expensive footballers in the world will be trying to outdo each other on the pitch this season, and now their rivalry is set to spill over into the world of advertising.
Bale eclipsed Ronaldo's world record fee when he moved to Real Madrid for £86m this summer. The Welsh winger then grabbed the limelight with a goal on debut for the Spanish club, only for Ronaldo to wrest it back the following day by announcing that he had signed a new five-year deal at the Bernabeu, with wages that dwarf Bale's.
Then the Portuguese superstar fired a hat-trick against Galatasaray on Tuesday as Madrid ran amok in Istanbul, although Bale played his part by helping set up three of the goals.
But although the pair's on-field rivalry could pay dividends for Real, it could also prompt a marketing war after it emerged that Adidas is about to offer Bale a multi-million pound contract to make him their new poster-boy, in a bid to trump Nike, whose campaigns are fronted by none other than Ronaldo.
The Daily Mail explains that Bale's long-running deal with the German sportswear company has been allowed to enter its final year, but says that Adidas now wants an extension and are prepared to offer him a massive new deal.
"The sports kit giants had been uncertain whether to make Bale their marquee player while he was not in the Champions League, or at the World Cup with Wales," explains the paper.
"All that has changed [since his move to Spain], especially as Adidas supply Real Madrid's shirts," it adds. "They are now prepared to pay what it takes to keep Bale out of the clutches of Nike."
Adidas told the Mail it was "confident" of keeping Bale, and said that its experience with fellow Adidas ambassador David Beckham while he was at Real, would help negotiations. ·