By Barry Janoff
June 5, 2014: Two of the world's best soccer players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., will head into the FIFA World Cup with their marketing skills in full view.
Ronaldo, captain of the Portugal National Team who has been tendinitis and a muscle injury in his left leg, appears in a new effort for nutrition company Herbalife, "CR7: Driven to Perfection," that invites people to share videos that display "their training regimens and personal commitment to achieve perfection."
Neymar, who will lead the host nation Brazil National Team over the month-long competition that begins June 12, dons a Panasonic HX-A500 Wearable Camera to show off his soccer skills on a basketball court in a new multi-platform effort.
Ronaldo also has deals that include Nike, Samsung Galaxy, Beats by Dre, Clear (grooming products) and Banco Sspirito Santo. He is the highest-paid soccer player in the world, topping $73 million annually — including some $24 million in endorsements — according to industry analysts.
Neymar, who pulls in about $10 million in annual endorsements, also has alliances that include Nike, Volkswagen, Unilever and Red Bull.
Ronaldo's Herbalife effort is anchored by a spot, "Driven To Perfection. Fueled By Herbalife," in which he stands at one end of a soccer pitch and attempts to kick balls into trash cans laying on the ground at the other end and cause them to stand upright when he scores. He accomplishes the feat on a series of shots (due in part no doubt to creative editing). His last shot goes into the receptacle but fails to force it to stand up. True to the mantra of the campaign, he tries again to reach perfection.
People are encouraged to participate in the "CR7 Driven to Perfection" push by posting their own short videos that depict their own training regimens and personal commitments to achieve perfection. At the end of the campaign, one video will be posted by Ronaldo as his “favorite.” (Details here.)
Herbalife is supporting with other social media destinations, including Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
“Good nutrition is at the core of my success and the team at Herbalife help me understand the importance of what I need pre-, during and post-game, as well as how to maximize my training regime as I look to continually improve,” Ronaldo said in a statement.
According to Rob Levy, evp-worldwide sales and marketing for Herbalife, “Herbalife is proud to provide Cristiano Ronaldo with the products that help fuel his drive to perfection. Partnering with Ronaldo in this campaign gives our members and athletes around the world an opportunity to show their training regimens, workout techniques and commitment to healthy living."
Neymar also gets to show off his soccer skills, kicking and heading soccer balls into a regulation-height basketball hoop, which we see from his perspective thanks to a prototype of Panasonic's HX-A500, which is described as "the world’s first 4K/30p (25p) Wearable Camera."
A spot, "Neymar's Eye," takes people behind the scenes of the challenge, and ultimately shows him making a series of improbable shots.
Panasonic has created a dedicated Web page to enable fans and consumers to link to all things social media regarding Neymar as well as engage in chats and view other videos and photos featuring the soccer player.
Neymar also makes an appearance in a new World Cup-oriented commercial from Beats by Dre, "The Game Before the Game," which shows some of the rituals that soccer players and other athletes go through before going into action.
The extended five-minute spot, played out to "Jungle" by X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons, includes from soccer the likes of Bacary Sagna, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Blaise Matuidi, Cesc Fàbregas, Daniel Sturridge, Chicharito, Jozy Altidore, Luis Suárez, Mario Götze, and Robin van Persie, as well as Neymar Jr.'s dad, Neymar da Silva Sr.
There also are cameos from LeBron James, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Rafaella Beckran, Rio Ferdinand, Serena Williams, Sydney Leroux, Stuart Scott, and Thierry Henry.
The spot also has a special appearance by Apple, which has agreed to acquire subscription streaming music service Beats Music and Beats Electronics (which manufactures Beats headphones, speakers and audio software for about $3 billion.
Back to World Cup 2014
Back to Home Page