Player football boot contracts: how do they work?

Every week, you watch your favourite footballer wear a pair of Nike, New Balance, Puma, Adidas, or another brand of football boots. Many players sign boot contracts with sportswear companies, but what do these deals entail? Turns out, there is quite a bit that football boot contracts include.

So, what can a player expect when signing a boot deal?

More than boots

A contract includes more than just boots as players will be required to wear other items produced by the company. High-profile players will be required to do more than just wear the sports manufacturers footwear. They will be shown in adverts, images on social media, and possibly commercials wearing the company’s clobber.

Consistency with sponsors

Oftentimes, players and sportswear makers will try to find consistency. For example, Nike will attempt to sponsor players that are signed for clubs and national teams that wear Nike-made kits. Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe is a perfect example of this. He is signed to Nike while both PSG and the French national team wear Nike kits. It isn’t always easy for sportswear companies to find players that fit along these lines.

Performance clauses

A boot deal may contain a variety of performance clauses allowing players to make more money from the base salary they receive. Scoring a specific number of goals, making a certain number of appearances, or winning a cup can see a player’s money increase. A football boot company often has the first refusal on re-signing a player. Therefore, a player may not be able to move to a new company easily. In 2020, Neymar made headlines by moving to Puma from Nike. In his case, Nike and the player mutually agreed to cancel the contract allowing him to join up with Puma football. No reason was given for the cancelling of the deal, but it was believed Nike wanted to free up money.