In the 12 hours following their release, sales of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s famous Manchester United No. 7 jersey shattered the Premier League record.
Even a tidal wave of fan demand for his now-iconic kit will not be enough to recoup the 15 million euro fee (£12.85m/$A24m) paid by the club for the Portuguese great.
According to LovetheSales.com, in the 12 hours following the release of Ronaldo‘s new kit, fans spent £32.5 million ($A60 million) on his jersey – a Premier League record for the 12 hours following the announcement of a player’s official shirt number. LovetheSales.com collects sales information from over 1,000 UK online retailers.
With United kits emblazoned with the superstar’s number ranging in price from 80 to 110 pounds, that means between 295,500 and 406,250 shirts were sold during that time period. With such a staggering number, he already has the best-selling jersey of any Premier League player, surpassing Manchester City’s new signing, Jack Grealish.
United and official kit manufacturer Adidas have struggled to meet demand, with the official club website stating that all jerseys will not ship until October 1st. Other UK retailers, both online and in-store, have experienced widespread shortages, with many selling out of the jersey.
However, while fans have spent £32.5 million in just 12 hours, the club will only earn a fraction of that amount, shattering the myth that shirt sales alone could pay for his massive move to United.
Manchester United signed a ten-year contract with Adidas worth £750 million in 2014, the largest-ever kit deal in football history.
And, while the specifics of that agreement are being kept under wraps, it’s unlikely that United will pocket even 10% of the revenue from shirt sales.
Given that shirts emblazoned with Ronaldo’s name and number cost between £80 and £110, United’s estimated take is at best 6.25 per cent and at worst around 4.5 per cent of the sale price.
If the 32.5 million pounds in revenue from Ronaldo jersey sales in the first 12 hours came from a middle-of-the-road average price of 90 pounds per shirt, that translates to approximately 360,000 shirts sold.
If United received 5 pounds for each of those sales, they would have approximately 1.8 million pounds in their coffers.
So claims that United will recoup the £12.85 million fees paid to Juventus for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner are far from accurate.
Fortunately for United, shirt sales account for a negligible portion of the club’s revenue, which totalled £509 million last year. The real financial benefit of bringing Ronaldo home is increased brand value and subsequent sponsorship deals.
The money, however, will be far less important to the club than winning the Premier League.