Neymar is now the protagonist
Though there were rumours circulating for a few weeks that Neymar Jr. would soon drop from Nike and sign a deal with Puma, it was still quite a shock when it happened. Even more surprising, instead of immediately slipping in the recently-released Puma Ultra, Neymar instead laced up in the King Platinum, which raised a lot of eyebrows. It was a bold move that will take a bit of time to see if it worked. In spite of the fact that Neymar is currently wear the King Platinum, many expect him to move into the Ultra soon enough and given Puma’s track record, it isn’t hard to imagine some crazy releases coming out of this partnership.
Nike can’t be accused of not going all in with Neymar, with the amount of signature colourways being consistently released over time. The Swoosh constantly back the Brazilian in number of ways, from making him the headline player for the Hypervenom, to giving in to him when he wanted to move back into the Vapor, even though they tried to keep having him wear a disguised Vapor that was mocked up to look like a Hypervenom. Nike was able to finally bring the Jordan brand into football because of the collab they did with Neymar and PSG. It would be understandable then if Nike are than a little upset that they lost him after pouring millions into him and his branding.
At the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me if one of the reasons Neymar decided to do this was to not allow himself to be overshadowed by Mbappe. The reason for this theory is that not being given enough recognition is one of the reasons Neymar left Barca. He wanted to be treated as the main character, so to speak. It’s obvious that Nike has been pouring more money into Mbappe as a brand and it’s understandable since he has the world at his feet. This is a similar situation to what Nani dealt with at Manchester United with Ronaldo. Nani was tired of being compared to Ronaldo and always being in his shadow and this is one of the reasons why he signed with adidas after leaving Nike. He wanted to show that he was his own player. It’s not a stretch to think the same of Neymar.
This move benefits both Neymar and Puma. In Neymar, Puma get a headline-grabbing world-class superstar (sorry Antoine, just not as popular as him). In Puma, Neymar gets to be the main character in a brand and a majority of the focus of the brand will now revolve around him. This is also means that in some ways, the Big Three each have their own superstar: adidas have Messi, Nike have Ronaldo and Puma have Neymar. For longest time, it was expected that Neymar would take the mantel from both Messi and Ronald and even though that’s no longer the case, it does give Neymar to have the perfect chance to truly be the protagonist in his own story. His is no longer playing second string to other players. It will be interesting to see what the future impact will be because of this signing.
What do you think of Neymar signing with Puma? Please make sure to share this with your friends and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!