The joy was great at Bayern after a glamorous match against Borussia Dortmund. They showed just how powerful they are once again and made a huge step in defending the title already in September.

Only a few minutes after their traditional celebration with fans, FC Bayern players began posting behind the scene photos and messages. “Oh yess! 5:1”, “Fantastic feeling”, “What a fantastic evening”, “Nike!!!”…

What should be a spontaneous cheering gesture was in fact marketing of a sports manufacturer Nike right in the FC Bayern lockerroom, a longtime Adidas stronghold. Jerome Boateng has used #nike as hashtag, Arturo Vidal has tweeted “nike!!!”, and Thiago Alcantara has even linked an online store of the America sporting giant.


Two years ago Mario Götze had worn a Nike shirt during official presentation, and the media boss Markus Hörwick at the time said: “That never happens again”! When asked about the last photo from the lockerroom, he declared: “We have seen it, and that is all we can say now..”

At FC Bayern, players are explicitly allowed to wear Nike shoes during the match, and use their social media accounts in any way they want, but brand messages from private sponsors on the premises of the FC Bayern are prohibited. At home or in public, players can post whatever they want.


Was this action managed by the American spors apparel manufacturer? It is really hard to believe that one player is ready to say “thanks” to his boots just a few moments after such a victory and risk a huge fine which will surely happen in the coming days.

My opinion is that, at the time, nothing has bigger marketing potential than behind the scene photos, and big companies know very well how many fans and new customers they can reach through accounts of the world’s biggest football stars.

How to harmonize interests from both clubs’ and players’ sponsors is definitely one of the biggests challenges of sports marketing future. Last reaction from FC Bayern is a proof that even the biggest clubs in the world are helpless in these situations.

There is a rumor that FC Bayern could prohibit any brand messages on players’ private social media accounts with a clause in their contract. I am asking myself, will they sign any “big names” then?


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