Ronaldo staying busy with marketing agency
Retired striker Ronaldo is far from done with soccer.
Ronaldo will be playing his farewell match with Brazil’s
national team Tuesday, but it won’t be the end for him. Since
retiring in February, Ronaldo has stayed active with a sports
marketing agency and a career managing young players.
Still highly influential in the sport he dominated for years,
the three-time FIFA player of the year is already succeeding off
the field too, signing clients such as Neymar and Lucas, touted as
the future of Brazil’s national team. He is a partner in the
company named ”9ine,” which also has deals outside soccer,
including with Brazilian indoor soccer star Falcao and the Ultimate
Fighting Championship’s Anderson Silva.
”Because of the agency, I’ve been able to keep working with
what I like the most – sports,” Ronaldo said in an e-mail to The
Associated Press. ”Of course that I still have a lot to learn in
business and in marketing, but I’m working hard, participating in
the agency’s day-to-day activities, helping in the decision-making
process and meeting with clients and prospects.”
Ronaldo says he is not an agent, that he is not in the business
of making money by signing young talents and then selling them. He
guarantees the company is not directly involved in managing his
clients’ careers, but more in the field of attracting sponsors and
managing their images through public relations.
Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas, who teamed up with Neymar to help
Brazil win the under-20 South American championship earlier this
year, was the latest to sign with Ronaldo.
”This partnership shows exactly where ‘9ine’ wants to play,
with focus on communication and marketing,” Ronaldo said on
Twitter when the deal was closed last month. ”Lucas is a young and
talented player, a great opportunity for brands who want to invest
Lucas and Neymar, currently the most talked about player in
Brazilian soccer, are expected to be Brazil’s top players when the
country hosts the 2014 World Cup.
But Ronaldo is looking for more.
He said he is yet to reach exclusive deals with Brazil star Kaka
or young playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso, another promising
Brazilian star, but both players said they are open to negotiate
with Ronaldo if he can provide good sponsorship opportunities.
Ronaldo has a 45 percent stake at the ”9ine Sports and
Entertainment” agency, while the WPP Group owns another 45 percent
and a Brazilian entrepreneur has the remaining 10 percent. The
agency focuses on exploiting the marketing opportunities in Brazil
as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in
Rio, according to the website of WPP, which calls itself a world
leader in advertising and marketing services.
On Tuesday, Ronaldo is expected to play a few minutes in
Brazil’s exhibition against Romania in Sao Paulo, marking the final
time he will officially wear the famed yellow jersey. He will be
honored at halftime for his successful time playing with the
His last official match with Brazil was in the 2006 World Cup in
Germany, where Brazil lost to France in the quarterfinals. The
34-year-old Ronaldo ended an 18-year career in February, saying he
couldn’t stay fit anymore while playing for Corinthians.
Despite a career plagued by severe knee injuries, Ronaldo played
in four World Cups and is the tournament’s top goalscorer with 15.
He was on soccer, though, and his business also is reaching other
areas. After Silva defeated Vitor Belfort with a spectacular single
kick to the face in a UFC fight in February, he quickly put on a
Corinthians’ jersey that sported one of the brands sponsoring him
after a deal with Ronaldo’s company.
Ronaldo also has a deal with Falcao, who is considered the
world’s best indoor soccer player and is well known in Brazil and
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni