Cristiano Ronaldo may no longer be officially the best soccer player in Europe, but the 33-year-old’s social media stardom suggests he could hold the key to Juventus Football Club SpA closing the gap on its wealthier rivals, according to one analyst.
Instagram’s most-followed person, who was named runner-up to former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric at Monday’s Ballon d’Or awards, could triple the Italian club’s shirt sales by 2022, while spurring a 60 percent increase in annual sponsorship revenue from its deals with the likes of Adidas AG, said Banca IMI analyst Alberto Francese.
Catching Up To Do
Juventus’s shirt sales trail those of European soccer’s superpowers
Source: Intesa Sanpaolo
NOTE: Average number of shirt sales per annum from financial year 2011-12 to 2015-16
The bank, which also provides corporate services to Juventus, upgraded its rating on the stock to buy from hold in a client note titled “Ronaldomics” on Wednesday, while doubling its price target to 1.40 euros a share. The shares jumped 9.3 percent yesterday, the most in a month.
But investors be warned: Instagram fame may not be eternal. “Should Cristiano Ronaldo’s current social media popularity begin to fade, this could undermine the commercial potential on which Juventus is now capitalizing,” Francese added.