As the 2017/18 season began, you'd have been hard-pressed to find someone who believed Mohamed Salah would be top of the Premier League and Europe's goal-scoring charts. And his rising stock has done more than just alert the elite clubs, it also has marketing teams looking to take advantage of the man of the moment.
Vodafone's Salah offer
Following Salah's 42 million-euro transfer from Roma to Liverpool last summer, the Egyptian has scored 36 goals in 41 official matches. For this reason, telecoms giant Vodafone has launched a new customer offer in the player's home country that, on the face of it, would result in a massive payout from the company.
عشان لما بنتجمع علي حاجة بتبقي أقوي من أي حاجة!— Vodafone Egypt (@VodafoneEgypt) 20 de marzo de 2018
ڤودافون الشبكة رقم واحد عملتلك عالم محمد صلاح اللي هيقرب صلاح لينا ويخلينا نتابع رحلته خطوة بخطوة، و كل جول هيجيبه هيجيلك 11 دقيقة هدية.
كلم #11* علشان تشترك في عالم محمد صلاح#رقم1_بيجمعنا pic.twitter.com/1ydxSHZfCB
As the story goes from the Mirror, the offer means that for every goal that Mo Salah scores for Jürgen Klopp's side from now on will result in customers gaining 11 minutes (his shirt number is '11') of free calls to their plan. With 43 million subscribers in Egypt, and each minute charged at an average of 25 pence, this results in a cost to the company of 118,250,000 GBP, or 135,125,000 euros. That's a cost to the company of over 135 million for each goal scored till the end of the season!
Of course, some cynics would argue that a promotion like this is just a marketing play, with the real cost of giving away free minutes - with many unlikely to be used - less impactful than the publicity gained from endorsing Egypt's biggest star.