When is a Formula 1 watch not quite a Formula 1 watch?
The answer: When it is a so-called “football watch” especially when it is named after a footballer and it is from TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 collection.
The footballer in question is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro who was born in Madeira, Portugal in 1985.
He is better known the world over as Cristiano Ronaldo, the famous footballer who currently plays for Spanish football club Real Madrid (Real Madrid Club de Fútbol or Royal Madrid Football Club based in Madrid, Spain).
The talented Portuguese was actively involved in professional football in his home country before joining Manchester United in 2003. Donning the Manchester United jersey, Cristiano Ronaldo scored more than 100 goals in six years or an average of more than 17 goals a year.
In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo became the most expensive football player in the world as his transfer deal from Manchester United to Real Madrid was worth £80 million.
According to Forbes’ “World’s Highest Paid Athletes 2015”, Cristiano Ronaldo was the third-highest paid sportsman, with reported total earnings of US$79.6 million comprising salary / winnings of US$52.6 million and endorsements of US$27 million.
Forbes defines these earnings to include salaries, prize money and bonuses while endorsement incomes are estimates of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing fees paid out between 1 June 2014 and 1 June 2015.
Cristiano Ronaldo endorses brands like Nike and even his own CR7 underwear and shirt line.
Forbes added that: Cristiano Ronaldo is the “… reigning FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) best player in the world” who “… has scored 60 or more goals in each of the last four calendar years and averages a goal a game for his club Real Madrid… ” with “… a US$50 million a year salary (with bonuses) through to 2018 to show for it”.
Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather is number one-ranked with total earnings of US$300 million with Filipino Manny Pacquaio in second place with his earnings haul of US$160 million.
On 28 April 2014, TAG Heuer officially announced that it had signed on Cristano Ronaldo as its brand ambassador.
What followed in 2015 was the unveiling of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 – Cristiano Ronaldo quartz watch in green. Green was chosen as it reflects the colour of the football grass pitch. The watch comes with a black- and green-striped NATO strap.
On 29 June 2015, it was announced that image rights for Ronaldo, a three-time FIFA World Player of the Year (2008, 2013 and 2014), was acquired by Singaporean tycoon Peter Lim’s Hong Kong-based company, Mint Media, under a six-year agreement.
All image rights except those related to Real Madrid will be owned and administered by Mint Media.
Both Peter Lim and Cristiano Ronaldo see “greener” pastures ahead. Lim expects the “Cristiano Ronaldo” branding to grow while Ronaldo deems the move to Mint Media “strategic” as it will help take his brand name to the next level, notably in Asia.
Ideally, this should ring true for TAG Heuer as well.