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How Nike missed out on Lionel Messi to Adidas in move that cost company £6 billion

How Nike missed out on Lionel Messi to Adidas in move that cost company £6 billion

Lionel Messi has a lifetime contract with Adidas but he was once on the verge of signing with Nike.

Lionel Messi moved from Nike to Adidas in 2006 after a very trivial request from the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, according to a new book.

Messi is one of the most recognisable athletes in the world and has multiple endorsement deals with leading brands in many spaces.

Messi is pretty synonymous for his partnership with Adidas, who he has a lifetime contract with.

However, prior to the 2006 World Cup, he had actually been wearing Nike.

He was with with the American company from the age of 14 but despite his club Barcelona being with Nike, he made the switch to Adidas.

According to a new book, 'Messi vs. Ronaldo: One Rivalry, Two GOATs, and the Era That Remade the World’s Game, by Jonathan Clegg and Joshua Robinson, there were a couple of details.

The book, serialised by the Wall Street Journal, claims that Nike were preparing a marketing campaign for the World Cup in Germany and held a photo shoot with Messi.

They then received a phone call from Messi's representatives asking them to drop the pictures, and informing them that he had signed elsewhere.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The story goes that a key factor in the switch was Nike missing a request from Messi's father Jorge, for more tracksuits.

Nike's Iberian and South American operations did not get back to him and the book claims the demand not being met 'soured' relations.

Nike also didn't want to enter a bidding war with Adidas, which helped sway the decision.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The swoosh company claimed they had a 'binding agreement' with the player, and it went to court, where Spanish judges ruled that they only had a "commitment letter".

According to Forbes, Messi's move across the pond has resulted in Adidas' share prices increasing by 30 percent and market cap rising by around $10 billion.

Featured Image Credit: Getty