Paul Pogba, the 22-year-old French superstar for Juventus, is a world-class talent that many people tip to be one of the top players in the world over the coming years. For all of the hype he has built over the last few seasons playing for Juventus, there’s been one major thing missing: an endorsement deal.
Prior to signing the 10-year deal with approximately $44 million, Pogba was a soccer marketing free-agent. His French National Team wears Nike, while he dons the black-and-white stripes of an Adidas Juventus jersey. Obviously, one of the most-talented players on the planet would command a bidding war between soccer’s two primary boot sponsors. While it remains to be seen whether he’ll have his own signature boot, he will be wearing Adidas on-and-off the pitch for the next ten years and presumably be appearing in numerous commercials across television, print, and digital.
While Pogba is far from an unknown quantity when it comes to the soccer world, especially those that follow the European game closely, his lack of a previous shoe deal brings a key point to mind when considering an athlete endorsement for your brand: Get your foot in the door before others. There are many questions that need to be answered before your brand decides to partner with an athlete, but if you’re proactive and able to identify someone that other brands have yet to discover, there’s high upside for ROI if that athlete goes on to be a big success.