MADRID: Marketers are already moving to capitalise on the soccer world's most expensive player, as Gareth Bale leaves Tottenham Hotspur in London for Spain's Real Madrid for a record transfer fee of €100m.
Adidas is asking fans to tweet @adidasUK to tap into the buzz around Bale's move to Spain, reported Marketing Week, while the club's other sponsors, including Emirates, Coca-Cola and Audi are thought to be considering how they can best utilise the new signing.
Repucom's Celebrity DBI index puts public awareness of Bale at around 53% compared to the 90% of Real Madrid's biggest star, Ronaldo.
But when it comes to other factors such as appeal, breakthrough and trust – which Repucom sees as the key to marketability – Bale scores higher than Ronaldo in Spain. And in the UK, Bale also outscores him on aspiration, endorsement, influence and trend-setting.
Only two other players in the English Premier League scored higher than Bale in terms of marketability with fans worldwide – Manchester United's Robin van Persie and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere.
Bale is already the face of two high-profile campaigns, for BT Sport in the UK and for NBC's marketing campaign to promote its coverage of the 2013/14 Premier League season in the US.
"Ronaldo has for a number of years now been one of the biggest names in global sports so, even for Bale, reaching that level of public awareness takes time and continued success," said Charlie Dundas, managing director of Repucom UK and Ireland.
The fact that Bale offers a safe "family man" image, however, could see him eventually surpass Ronaldo in terms of marketability and help attract new sponsorship and TV deals to the club.
"In isolation, €100m for Gareth Bale looks huge," Alex Thorpe, of the Deloitte Sports Business Group, told the Guardian, "but it must be seen in the context of Real Madrid's expanding commercial operation, which is being managed sustainably."
Data sourced from Marketing Week, Guardian; additional content by Warc staff