Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the biggest player in tennis that is attached to a sponsorship deal with sporting superbrand Nike although Naomi Osaka has given him a run for his money in terms of marketability.
Since very early on in his career, Nike and Nadal have been partners with the Spanish superstar sporting a number of signature looks courtesy of the iconic brand.
Nike has long sought to associate itself with the best of the best from Michael Jordan to Tiger Woods.
Rafael Nadal wears Nike shoes and apparel during matches and even away from the court as he is often spotted underneath a peak that sports the famous swoosh.
Nike own the rights to the trademarked Raging Bull symbol that appears on the clothing custom-made for Nadal as well as on a range of clothing and other apparel for sale to the general public.
While the Raging Bull symbol is widely associated with Nadal and is seen as his personal logo, it is in fact the property of Nike who registered the trademark.
Nadal was first spotted wearing the now famous Raging Bull symbol back in 2013, usually most prominently seen on his right breast with the Nike logo over the left.
The symbol also appears on his Nike tennis shoes which usually feature a bold imprint of ‘RAFA’ on the left heel.
Given the issues he has had with his feet, it is important that Nadal have only the best tennis shoes available to him and the company have developed a number of designs, especially for the Spanish GOAT.
Naomi Osaka is known to flash her new shoes before tournaments in social media posts, but Rafael Nadal isn’t really one for such displays.
Despite his modesty, the partnership with Nadal is worth a lot to Nike who pay him more than $10 million per year for the association.
Nadal also has sponsorship deals with Santander, Emporio Armani, Babolat, Heliocare, Telefonica, Banco Sabadell, Tommy Hilfiger, Mapfre and luxury watchmakers Richard Mille.
The latest estimates put Nadal’s net worth at approximately $220 million with a good portion of his earnings coming from ATP Tour prize money.
He has been the brand ambassador for South Korean motor vehicle manufacturer Kia since all the way back in 2006.
Nadal has been with many of his sponsors for the long haul and clearly puts a premium on loyalty.
He is now the record Grand Slam winner in men’s singles and is one of the most recognizable athletes in all of sport.
Most of the images of Rafael Nadal that can be found feature the Nike logo somewhere and there is no doubt that the brand has benefitted from the tremendous exposure of being associated with the great man.
Nadal also loves to give back, not only through his own tennis centre based on Mallorca, but also through a charitable foundation.
Nike spends a fair chunk of time and resources making sure that Nadal sports some of the best kit collections in the sport and also that he has the best equipment available to him on court.
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