Vinicius Junior takes shot at Nike as sponsor war intensifies

Brazilian star Vinicius Junior appears to be taking his business elsewhere, and Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Valencia showed as much.

Vinicius is in the process of leaving Nike as his sponsor, after reportedly feeling undervalued by the American brand. He does not believe Nike were acting in accordance with his profile, according to Diario AS.

Against Valencia, Vinicius spent the first half in all black boots, which obscured the Nike branding. In the second half, Vinicius returned with yellow and grey boots with the famous Nike tick.

Puma are reportedly best-placed to pick up Vinicius, with Brazil teammate Neymar Junior their marquee star.

Sponsorship is becoming even more important to players, as they become global brands. The partnerships between clubs and fashion brands are illustrative of the buying power that these clubs can hold in markets that were not necessarily thought to be compatible. Several manufacturers are now making shirts that are designed to be used as casual wear too.

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