With huge revenues, a colossal audience on social media, sponsors queuing up, and his brand on products from hotels to underwear, Cristiano Ronaldo has long been more than just a football player. But CR7’s global brand may be tarnished by an accusation of rape in the United States, a complaint that dates back to 2009.
Ronaldo, “is truly a business offering a product, a service and a digital arm,” Jean-Philippe Danglade, author of “Marketing and Celebrities”, told AFP, pointing out that, in the player’s native Madeira there is a Ronaldo museum and airport named after him.
“In terms of the collective imagination, it’s really impressive.” Forbes magazine estimated that Ronaldo made $108 million (93.7 million euros) in 2017: $61 million in salary and $47 million from endorsements. While that’s a jump in $15 million from the previous year, Ronaldo still dropped from first place to third.