The long-term deal covers the next three Fifa World Cups and, according to the player’s agent Wagner Ribeiro, includes clauses guaranteeing the Santos striker added bonuses based on the number of times he represents Brazil during this period and a large payment in the event of him being named the world’s best player through the Fifa Golden Ball award.
Nike’s agreement with Neymar will see the player receiving the full amount of the contract, in contrast to some of his other sponsorship deals which were signed in partnership with his club. 30 per cent of the money involved in his existing deals with Internet Group do Brasil (IG), Nextel and Red Bull goes to Santos in order for them to guarantee him a ‘European’ salary of reputedly US$300,000 per month.
Eduardo Musa, business manager of Santos, said: “This new contract is personal to the player. We help, of course. But it does not enter our marketing plan, because it was a renewal of a contract that he already had.”
Neymar’s deal with Nike enables the company to use the player’s image while supplying him with boots, sportswear and equipment. Having been with the company since his breakthrough at Santos in 2009, it is understood that Nike has offered Neymar improved terms to his existing deal but these have not been publically disclosed.
Nike has also struck a deal with Portuguese international soccer player Liedson. The striker, who recently joined Brazilian club Corinthians after spending eight years at Sporting Lisbon, signed a two-year deal with the American firm having come to the end of his previous sponsorship agreement with Adidas.
Liedson returns to the Nike fold after opting to leave the brand to sign with Puma in May 2006. Boot deals with Mizuno and Adidas followed his initial switch during the intervening years.