Raf Peeters, sports marketing manager of Nike Northern Europe on Eden Hazard extending his contract:
We are proud Eden has extended his contract. We expect a lot from Eden the coming years and he will play a prominent role in our marketing machine.
Some of the more paranoid among Chelsea fans may see this as another reason for Hazard to leave the Adidas-repped Chelsea for PSG, a Nike club. The role of sponsors has grown in recent years with some rumors claiming that sponsors would have paid a percentage of Ronaldo’s transfer fee if he were ever to head back to Manchester United. It makes sense for a sponsor to want their biggest stars not only wearing their boots but their kits as well so Hazard wearing Adidas boots would be ideal.
On the other side of the coin is that the two most famous and greatest footballers of this generation are not endorsed by the same company that sponsors their club. Messi wears a Nike kit for Barcelona but is an Adidas pitchman and vice versa for his La Liga rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid. Sponsors may have grown their influence to a previously unheard of level but they have yet to dictate transfer policy at the highest level. So rest easy Chelsea fans, if Hazard leaves it will not be because Nike tells him to.
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