Nike has said it is "deeply concerned" about the allegations aimed at Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of only three athletes to have a life-time deal with the brand.
The rape accusations directed at Cristiano Ronaldo could threaten his 15-year sponsorship deal with Nike, which said yesterday that it was “deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations" about an incident that happened in Las Vegas in 2009.
Ronaldo is one of three elite athletes who have a life-time contract with Nike, whose valued is estimated at $1 billion dollars (€870 million). The other two are NBA legends LeBron James and Michael Jordan, who also enjoy lifetime privileges with the sports apparel company.
Since the relationship between Ronaldo and Nike began in 2003, the Portuguese star has worn at least 35 distinctly different designed Nike football boots while playing for Manchester United, Real Madrid and, most recently, Juventus.
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Nike previously ended a sponsorship deal with Lance Armstrong and his foundation after he was accused of doping and drug trafficking in 2012. The disgraced former cyclist went on to plead guilty to taking illegal substances during his consecutive Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005 and was handed a life-time ban from cycling.
Ronaldo’s other endorsement deals
Aside from his agreement with Nike, Ronaldo has sponsorship deals with Tag Heuer, Herbalife, American Tourister and EA Sports.
EA Sports, who chose Ronaldo as the cover star for their latest instalment of the FIFA videogame series, has removed the player’s image from their website and social media pages.
“We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo. We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA’s values,” said the videogame developer in a statement on Wednesday.