What are the Biggest Soccer Cleat Deals in History?

Sports players make a huge chunk of their money through sports sponsorships with various brands. Most soccer players have endorsement deals with soccer cleat companies, which provide athletes with their cleats to advertise their brand. Not only companies producing soccer cleats, many others manufacturing equipment such as balls, shin pads, etc., have endorsement deals with athletes.

In this realm of endorsements, big companies such as Nike and Adidas reign supreme because they are able to pay the hefty price that companies have to pay athletes for them to endorse their products. These deals can be lucrative and go into the millions.

Sports Sponsorships

Sports sponsorship is the act of supporting a person, activity, or organization financially by providing support through monetary means, products, or services. Sponsorships are very popular in sports, where the sponsor pays the athlete to wear their item, including shoes, clothes, etc., and they get access to exploitable commercial returns.

Sponsorships expect a commercial return, unlike philanthropy, which may be non-profit. Sponsorships help brands increase awareness among regular people and also help in brand building. Therefore, it is different from advertising as they do not communicate the product’s specifics.

The top companies that sponsor the world’s top athletes include Nike, Adidas, etc. Nike is famous for paying top athletes in many different sports, such as soccer, to use and promoting their products. They are known to sponsor many soccer players, including Landon Donovan, Wesley Sneijder, Neymar, Christiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba, etc.

Adidas is another huge sponsor in the world of soccer. They produce kits for many soccer teams worldwide and make balls used in prominent leagues such as UEFA Euro, FIFA World Cup, and Women’s Champions League, and have done so since 1970.

They are also known to sponsor many soccer players, including Mohammed Saleh, David Beckham, etc.

Soccer cleats, therefore, offer one of the most lucrative deals to big stars as their products get exposure as they are shown off to the rest of the world on some of the biggest soccer stages. These players play in front of thousands of people, have millions watching them on television, and millions following them as well.

Thus, it is indeed a lucrative business, and if brands want these world-famous players to endorse their soccer cleats, they should have a large sum ready.

The most Lucrative Soccer Cleat Deals for Soccer Athletes

Neymar and Nike

The deal between Neymar and Nike is among the top most expensive endorsement deals for soccer cleats. Neymar is a Brazilian forward and one of the best talents to grace the world of soccer. He is an excellent forward, and many have had their eyes on him ever since he entered the world of football.

Due to his excellent skills and popularity, he is a fantastic player to get onboard for marketing. He is exceptionally well known within and outside of Europe. He currently has contracts with many companies, including Red Bull, Volkswagen, Panasonic, etc.

Forbes has revealed that Neymar has sealed an 11-year deal with Nike that is worth around $1 million per year. His personal favorite shoes to wear on the field as a way of endorsing the brand are the Hypervenom Phantom boots.

Wayne Rooney and Nike

Wayne Rooney is an English Premier League superstar and perhaps one of the most famous. He played with Manchester United and the English National team, where he managed to make a name for himself.

Rooney has managed to garner a lot of success very early on in his career and has been well known in the soccer world. However, as compared to fellow top soccer players, he does not have a lot of sponsorship deals. Due to a few controversies, he lost deals with EA Sports and Coca-Cola.

However, he has managed to maintain his strong ties with Nike, with whom he has a sports endorsement. Due to this deal, Rooney has to wear Nike shoes when on the field, and he chooses to wear the Hypervenom Phantom boots when he plays. The American sports-wear giant pays him $1.67 million annually just for wearing Nike.

Mohamed Saleh and Adidas

Mohammed Saleh is Liverpool’s star player and one of the most in-form players in the current season. Due to his skill and popularity, Adidas happily pay him a lucrative $2.5 million for him to associate with their brand.

Mohamed Saleh is an Egyptian player who has many other endorsements as well. He also endorses Pepsi and Vodafone in Egypt and to his international fans. For his footwear, he wears the Adidas X18 football boot, which is a part of the deal.

Marco Verratti and Nike

Marco Verratti is an Italian professional soccer player who is a center midfielder for his team Paris Saint-Germain. He is insanely talented and considered one of the best midfielders in the world. He truly packs a punch when on the field and is an excellent player to get on board for brand endorsements.

Previously, the Italian midfielder had a deal with Puma, which expired in 2017. He has been offered a chance to work with Nike and graciously accepted the $2.5 million contract. As a Nike endorser, he now wears Nike’s Hypervenom Phantom III boots.

Antonie Griezmann and Puma

Puma is another sports brand with a line of soccer cleats that professionals often wear. To advertise their brand, they have made a deal with Antoine Griezmann, a French soccer player who plays as a forward for his team, the La Liga club, who have temporarily loaned him from Barcelona.

This shift was one of the most significant moves in 2019, as the deal cost around 108 million pounds. Thus, he is a huge player with a massive following who will be great for advertising soccer cleats. If anyone was unsure which type of football cleats to buy and their favorite player was wearing a certain kind, they would want to have it too. Antonie Griezmann was already a part of Puma, but he extended his contract with the German brand in 2015.

The new deal is a 3.5 million pound per year deal. Puma was so happy with Griezmann accepting the ambassadorial role that they released a limited edition boot to celebrate the occasion. This boot was the Future 4.1 NETFIT Grizi, which was priced at 299 pounds.

The boot was released in 2019, marking Griezmann’s tenth anniversary with them.

David Beckham and Adidas

Although David Beckham is not presently a soccer player, he was one of the most popular players of his time. Therefore, he still has a deal with a soccer cleat company. Beckham made his name by playing in Manchester United and continued his streak in Real Madrid.

He was famous worldwide and had millions of fans. Everyone knew who David Beckham was whether or not they watched football. His extreme popularity attracted soccer cleats sponsors, and Adidas offered him a deal for a whopping $11.7 million per year.

This deal has extended beyond his professional career. While he was still playing as a professional midfielder, he wore Adidas’s Predator LZ boots.

Kylian Mbappe and Nike

Among the next generation of football stars, one cannot deny the power Kylian Mbappe has over the world of soccer. He is a French professional player who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team.

Mbappe is considered one of the best soccer players in the world and one of the highest paid as well. Therefore, it is no surprise that one of the biggest brands wanted him to advertise their soccer cleats.

However, Nike had to fight hard to get this deal, but in the end, they were successful and signed a 14 million pound per year deal that would extend for ten years. The deal was finalized in 2019 after Nike out-bidded other brands, including their biggest rival, Adidas.

Christiano Ronaldo and Nike

Christiano Ronaldo is one of three athletes who have signed a lifetime agreement with Nike. In such deals, even if Ronaldo retires, Nike will pay him a handsome sum of money to promote the brand. The other two athletes include Micheal Jordana and LeBron James, two of the biggest basketball stars.

His deal with Nike is worth around 15 million pounds per year, which should easily tide him over when he eventually retires from playing soccer. He is one of the biggest soccer stars, and almost everyone knows his name. Therefore, it is not surprising that he was able to sign such a big deal with Nike.

Lionel Messi and Adidas

Lionel Messi is one of soccer’s biggest names. He is an Argentinian professional football player who captains the Argentinian national team and plays as a forward for his club Paris Saint-Germain. He is often considered one of the best soccer players in the world and has won many awards, such as the European Golden Shoe and the Ballon d’Or award.

Therefore, he is a perfect contender for sports endorsements as he is well known, appears on many huge platforms, and has a massive following. Consequently, it is no surprise that Adidas snatched him up to endorse their products.

However, Messi’s deal is a bit different from others. He has his own sub-brand of boots under the title of Adidas Messi. Furthermore, his contract is thought to be around 18 million pounds per year. This deal, combined with having a brand of soccer cleats under a company as massive as Adidas, is why he is a billionaire.

Neymar and Puma

Even though Neymar has previously been associated with other brands in the past, his recent deal with Puma trumps all others and puts him above all other professional sportsmen. He joined Puma in 2020 after dropping with their rival Nike because the former offered him a lucrative deal.

This deal earned Neymar almost double what Nike offered him, and it is reported that he makes 23 million pounds by endorsing Puma each year. In return for this huge sum, he wears their products, such as soccer cleats, etc., when he goes out to play on the field.


There are billions of dollars to be earned in sports through huge wages and sponsorship deals. Many brands out there are willing to pay lucrative sums for the top soccer players and other athletes to wear their brand and use it in public simply.

By doing so, the company gets exposure, and people are much more willing to purchase from a brand they have seen some top athletes wear and use. Therefore, it is a two-way deal that benefits both parties.