Why Messi and Cristiano won’t be most marketable players ahead of Russia 2018 WC


2018 World Cup is around the corner and line-up of participating teams almost complete. We just need to wait for November play-offs to know the last 6 teams of the total 32 in contention. And it is finally confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi will be in Russia next summer, even if it had to go all the way to the last match for Portugal and Argentina to qualify.

And it’s time for brands to make-up their minds in terms of which players will best fit their marketing plans around World Cup event. Some of them have already done their homework and secured endorsement contracts with most marketable players, but many others are deciding what to do as we speak.

In this sense, and taking into account most relevant selection criteria –such as cost, availability and appeal to consumers-, I reckon neither Cristiano nor Messi or Neymar will be among players most used for World Cup campaigns marketing activation or ambush. In my opinion, these global superstars have become so expensive (not less than 3m€ for global campaigns) that very few brands can afford them. Furthermore, the number of deals that they already have in place means that any new brand will struggle to stand-out in a cluttered sponsors environment. And not only that, as the intensive sporting activity expected until the end of the season means that these icons will have very limited time –if any at all- to devote to commercial appearances and TV shootings.

So expect the likes of Griezmann, Leroy Sane, Kevin de Bruyne, Pogba, Harry Kane or Marco Asensio –all of them extremely appealing to young audience- to be very busy with commercial activity for the World Cup. Expect Prime Time Sport prediction of top 20 most marketable players, which we will publish very soon. Stay tuned…


Esteve Calzada

CEO Prime Time Sport

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