The weird and wonderful world of Cristiano Ronaldo's endorsements
It's hard being Cristiano Ronaldo. He's won just about every individual honor, accolade and prize there is to win, as well as a fistful of league titles in England and Spain, more than a couple of Champions League trophies, Euro 2016 with Portugal and a partridge in a pear tree.
But there's more to being a global football megastar than simply what you do on the pitch. Your work away from the stadium -- you know, the merchandise you sell and the many products and brands that you believe are befitting of a part in your iconic lifestyle -- is just as important. And so I decided to take a tour through the things and experiences he offers to his 58,418,493 followers on Twitter.
There's a lot!
The cornerstones of his empire
Ronaldo's association with Nike, the Oregon-based swoosh, is well-documented. His lifetime deal, announced in November 2015, could be worth as much as $1 billion and might well be a "bargain" despite that astronomical price.
Translation: we're a good team, black and white photos are cool and there's a brand hashtag.
Ronaldo is also quite fond of PokerStars. He joined their online gambling stable back in May 2015 (terms of the deal are unknown) because he likes gambling, I guess.
"I started playing poker a few years ago, and I love the competition, strategy and fun. I'm looking forward to taking my game to the online and live poker tables and meeting my fans head to head. Although football is my world, poker has always been my game. I'm very excited to join the team."
The latest round of ads involve Ronaldo and NBA star Dwyane Wade filming some tricks and taunting one another. It seems a bit ostentatious to do keepy-ups while there's a straight razor within inches of your neck but that's the life of a gambler, I suppose.
Then there is his love of watches. Specifically, Tag Heuer watches. Athletes love watches. It's a superb way to spend a lot of money on something that's fairly small and is impossible to ignore: a large chunky timepiece jutting about a foot off one's wrist. Ronaldo's been endorsing the brand since 2014 (again, terms unknown) and he's quite good at showing off watches in photos that don't really show you much of the actual watch.
A couple of vaguely dynamic phrases, weird hashtag (I guess Tag watches don't crack under pressure of being deep in the ocean?), nice car and a moody facial expression. You can just about see the watch, too!
Ronaldo goes digital
I can't figure out how popular "Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick'n'Run" is but it seems to have a lot of positive reviews for a freemium game that involves booting a ball around what looks like Paris.
Is 429 a good score? Anyone played this thing? Ronaldo sure seems confident that it is.
Then there's his selfie app, too -- "CR7 Selfie app by Cristiano Ronaldo," -- in which you can hastily graft the megastar into your personal photos.
It's not all fun and games though: there is a donation connection to Save the Children, which is a charity very near and dear to his heart. And yes, I've since downloaded and am steadily racking up the poses with my new best friend, Ronaldo.
Ronaldo's also been quite good in the realm of getting people to donate blood.
His tech interest doesn't stop with apps. Ronaldo also has connections to phones, internet and service providers. Ronaldo isn't good at singing -- finally, something he can't do! -- but he gave it his best shot for MEO, a Portuguese telecommunications conglomerate. Bless.
Desejo a todos o melhor do mundo em 2017. Bom ano!— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) December 30, 2016
I wish you all the best in the world in 2017! Happy New Year. pic.twitter.com/mgUxVfEFRa
Of course he's shirtless.
There's also a Ronaldo-endorsed phone, a cable company -- seriously, why is he always nearly nude in these?), a partnership with an online trading company, some Ronaldo headphones and a brand-new, utterly bizarre screen protector endorsement with something called Panzer Glass, which has one tweet (with Ronaldo, of course) and 238 followers. Sure!
Live a Ronaldo-branded lifestyle
Another important category involves the items and experiences that aim to bring you closer to Ronaldo. Take his association with fairly plain fleece blankets: it felt like the weirdest one, until recently at least (see below). They're big blankets, the kind you can get for a reasonable price at a large Bed and Bath store, only they have his name and logo on them.
If you're not busy staying warm under a Ronaldo blanket, you can outfit yourself in Ronaldo clothes. He signed on to promote Sacoor Brothers in the spring of 2016 and is a big fan of their suits. They're a Portuguese company, which obviously resonates with the national hero, but his "limited collection" of branded suits and separates are "expected to expand the brand into a brand new planet," according to a glorious press release.
If you don't fit in his garments, try getting in shape! Just before Christmas, Ronaldo announced a partnership with Crunch Fitness to open a line of CR7-branded gyms. Now you can pump iron while being reminded of the body you'll never be able to get. Just be sure to put on Ronaldo fragrances when you're done to cover up the scent of sweat and regret.
Fancy a reward for your busy day of shopping and exercise? Simply eat at Ronaldo's restaurant group in which he's partnered with Pau Gasol and Enrique Iglesias (sure, why not?) but only after you've visited his museum. Then, once dinner is done and you're exhausted and full, you can crash for the night at Ronaldo's hotel.
No way does he eat that many carbs.
Who said these were a good idea?
His desire to help sell SixPad, some kind of electronic muscle manipulator in Japan, is truly perplexing.
Oh, and his recently unveiled project with Egyptian Steel, a company trying to dominate their nation's steel production and distribution industry. Who better than CR7 to help shift metal?
I'm not sure what a "safety-oriented steel brand" is -- shouldn't they all be safety-oriented? -- but Ronaldo is on it.
And finally, the biggest brand of all
Drinking my tea and reading my book👍👌😘 pic.twitter.com/OyICtEoinA— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) May 30, 2017
If there was a Ballon d'Or for the endorsement game, I don't think Lionel Messi or Neymar would come close.
As Ronaldo says, just relax and enjoy the view.
James Tyler is a senior editor for ESPN FC. He can be found on Twitter @JamesTylerESPN.