The best deal Ronaldo ever made was selling his Image rights

What was the best deal Ronaldo ever made? I think it’s selling his image rights to Peter Lim.

In 2021, Cristiana Ronaldo was able to charge $1.6 million per Instagram post. One-click and he could afford a new house. Another click a new Bugatti, another click your soul you get the picture.

He can charge these crazy sums because he is the most popular person on Instagram. Nobody has more followers than him, which is ironic because he does not even own his image rights. 

He sold them to a guy named Peter Lim, and why selling his image rights was the best deal Ronaldo ever made?

The Business of CR7

A poor kid from Portugal who became one of the wealthiest athletes alive, Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Madeira, Portugal.

His mother had initially intended to abort him as she didn’t want to raise another child in poverty. Young Ronaldo shared a small room with his brother and two sisters and claims to never have had any toys growing up.

His big break came at age twelve when sporting signed him for the youth academy. After impressing his coaches, Ronaldo decided to quit school and focus on his soccer/football career.

At age 15, disaster struck, and Ronaldo was diagnosed with a dangerous heart. The condition is known as Tachycardia. 

Ronaldo was diagnosed with a dangerous heart. The condition is known as Tachycardia. 

This is when your heart beats rapidly, even when resting but Ronaldo wasn’t going to let his heart get in the way of his dreams.

After successful surgery to reduce his BPM. He was immediately back in training and managed to break into the Sporting first team a year later.

In 2003, Ronaldo helped Sporting defeat a formidable Manchester United team. 

Sir Alex Ferguson refused to leave Lisbon without securing the 18-year-old’s transfer to Manchester and the move helped turn him into a global superstar. 

This success also increased his bank balance, thanks to clubs and sponsors giving him millions every year. But these lucrative contracts will eventually end the solution for most footballers’ diversification. 

For example, by starting their businesses. Ronaldo has opened hotels, fitness centers, restaurants, apparel companies, and even a chain of hair transplant clinics. 

He’s about to relaunch his Cr7 footwear. Footballers do not generally have the best track record with these investments.

Even the mighty Zlatan has failed, with his now-defunct clothing line losing 18 million in two years. But Ronaldo’s business ventures are not simple,  they are not only surviving, but they are also thriving.

Even the mighty Zlatan has failed, with his now-defunct clothing line losing 18 million in two years

The Pestana Cr7 hotels are expanding across the world, and in 2019, the hair transplant clinics generated $114 million.

How did Ronaldo succeed where others have failed and built an empire on hotels and hair loss? 

To truly understand the magic behind the Cr7 brand we need to look at two very important moments that have shaped his entire business empire.

Dominating Instagram and selling his image rights to Peter Lim.

Dominating Instagram

Ronaldo is the most popular human being on Instagram. He currently has over 461M followers, that’s more than all Premier League clubs combined.

The social media account of a typical footballer is boring. A photo of them in training, a photo during the game, and a sponsored post about a workout recovery device.

 If lucky, we might get one picture of their family dressed up as highlighters but Ronaldo’s account is different.

His posts can be broken down into four main categories soccer/football, his body, his lifestyle, and sponsored posts. 

Ronaldo is the most popular human being on Instagram. He currently has over 461M followers

Ronaldo understands that each category attracts a completely different audience. When he posts a photo in a Manchester United shirt, he gets an audience of soccer/football fans. 

But when he goes shirtless and rubs oil all over himself, he gets another, slightly more aroused audience. 

By consistently posting in each category, Ronaldo can grow his audience from each of these unique angles, attracting soccer fans and those who enjoy his luxury lifestyle or admire his incredible physique.

Soccer is not even his most popular audience.

A topless photo of Ronaldo leaning against Bugatti received 8 million more likes than an image of him lifting the Serie A trophy with Juventus.

A topless photo of Ronaldo leaning against Bugatti received 8 million more likes than an image of him lifting the Serie A trophy with Juventus.

Photos of soccer/football average the same amount of likes as sponsored posts. The family picks or gym selfies engage twice as many fans. 

The fact that Ronaldo can engage such a large and diverse audience allows him to get genuine results when advertising products that don’t fit within the sports niche. 

As long as they are in Coca-cola.

Ronaldo dominates Instagram, a platform that is all about images. But get this he does not even own his image rights.

Ronaldo selling his image rights to Peter Lim 

Ronaldo quite literally could not start selling his topless selfies for money. This might seem a little confusing but let us explain. 

In 2015, Ronaldo sold his image rights to Peter Lim, the current owner of Valencia’s Football club. 

Image rights can be defined as a person’s likeness that is their image name, nickname, voice signature, and any other characteristic that is unique to them. 

Whenever a company wishes to use the likeness of a footballer in an advert, they must obtain permission, usually in return for a large fee.

Essentially, the player has ownership of their image and has the power to exploit it for money or give someone else the permission to do the exploitation.

In 2009, Ronaldo handed over a large number of his image rights to Real Madrid. 

In 2009, Ronaldo handed over a large number of his image rights to Real Madrid. 

The idea was that Madrid could use their global brand to exploit its image for money. It was a standard clause that all Madrid players have in their contract.

As he gained worldwide fame, Ronaldo started to notice the value of his image rights, and in 2013, he renegotiated majority control of his image from Real Madrid.

The matter was so important to him that he almost left Madrid but in the end, they found an agreement. He then decided to sell his image rights to Peter Lim, a Singaporean businessman.

 For six years, Peter Lim’s company, Mint Media, was given control of Ronaldo’s likeness.

The company could decide when to allow his image to be used for adverts, video games, or merchandise

Why would Ronaldo do this?

When the deal was announced, Ronaldo explained this is a very strategic move for me and my management’s team to take the Cristiano Ronaldo brand to the next level, especially in Asia.

Ronaldo spotted an opportunity to diversify his audience and expand his popularity by entering the Asian market. 

Singaporeans are one of the most prominent businessmen in the region. 

Peter Lim and Ronaldo are looking to capitalize on the worldwide fame of the Cr7 brand with the launch of ZUJU GP.

The Tech company aims to create a soccer/football platform that bridges Asia and the west.

The best deal Ronaldo ever made was selling his Image rights

While it is not entirely clear what the company will do, the website claims they plan to help fans watch live games, virtually buy merchandise, engage with players, and bet. 

The strategy appears to be working. 

Ronaldo is consistently ranked as the most popular footballer among Chinese fans. 

Korean fans even called for Juventus to be sued after Ronaldo failed to make an appearance during a preseason friendly against the Korean All-Star team.

Overtaking every celebrity on Instagram

From topless selfies to selling his image rights, each decision was designed to introduce Ronaldo to new audiences.

He has reached a level of followers like nobody before him.

Who knows how it would have worked out had he not negotiated back his Image rights from Real and teamed up with Peter Lim. 

Back in 2015, Ronaldo was nowhere near being number one but the likes of Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian dominated Instagram, but Cr7 overtook them all.

With Ronaldo near the end of his football career, the only question that remains is whether he will keep his crown as the most popular person on the planet.

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