Back in September PUMA announced its long-term partnership with Neymar.
Neymar, who grew up watching videos of the world’s football stars, said that this endorsement is truly a dream of his and that he wishes to pay homage to the legends of football.
PUMA explained that “as one of the most successful athletes of his generation, Neymar will wear PUMA’s legendary King football boot on the pitch. He will also be a brand ambassador off-pitch, wearing PUMA’s most important lifestyle, training, and sport-inspired footwear and apparel products.”
Neymar Jr’s football path begins in the streets of Brazil, like countless Brazilian boys.From the mean streets of Mogi das Cruzes, to the biggest and most incredible stadiums in the world.
His father, Neymar Sr, is an ex-footballer and it was he who ignited his son’s passion for football. He has always been behind him, coaching and motivating him, and supporting Neymar Jr’s dreams from a very early age.
Neymar had been playing football since the age of 3, there was always something special about him when he touched the ball, something that his first coach, Betinho, saw when Neymar was only 6 years old back in Sao Vicente during a beach soccer match.
He signed his first contract with Portuguesa Santista when he was only 12 years old. Later that year he moved to Santos FC and at just 17 years old he signed his first full professional contract with Santos FC and also started signing his first sponsorship deals and was able to support and improve the quality of life of his family, something that has always been of paramount importance for Neymar.
From this point his career really took off as he moved to better and better teams until he signed for Barcelona in 2013 after a trade with Santos FC for the immense sum of €86.2 million, at that time making his transfer one of the most expensive in history.
Later, in 2017, he moved to Paris Saint Germain. The team paid €222 million, according to the BBC. On top of that, Neymar would receive a five-year contract and will be paid an annual salary of €45 million, making him the highest-paid footballer in the world. SHEESH!
Neymar Jr began working with Nike when he was 13 years old. At the age of 19, when playing for Santos FC in Brazil, he signed an agreement with the sportswear brand for 11 years, which was due to end in 2022. Neymar was set to earn €88.1m over the course of the deal, according to Brazilian website UOL. In 2016, Neymar Jr became the first football athlete to collaborate with the Jordan Brand, having the Jumpman featured on his apparel, with signature kicks, erm to boot!
In August 2020, Neymar and Nike ended their 15 year partnership giving him freedom to sign a deal with sportswear brand Puma. This deal has reportedly come with a massive €25.57 million per year – the largest individual sponsorship contract in the history of sport. The huge deal adds to Puma’s athlete roster and Neymar takes his place amongst other Puma sponsored greats of our time such as Usain Bolt and Lewis Hamilton.
FROM BRAZIL TO JAMAICA, EVERYONE KNOWS NEYMAR
To say that Neymar is the household football name of our times would be something of an understatement. And whatever the sports commentators and pundits may say he is one of the greatest footballers of our time.
Neymar’s story connects people worldwide and there are connection points in many places around the world where football is the dream, a dream that might take people, kids out of the hardship they face on a daily basis. Jamaica knows football, and Jamaica’s capital and its people know hardship, but football brings hope and happiness with every kick of the ball.
And don’t get it twisted they know Neymar too…
We took to Three Miles, Kingston, home to some of the team. There many dream of making it to places where life is better. But despite the hardship there is happiness here and something so special in the spirit of the people in the area. And when we know so much privilege seeing how a football and some shirts changed a day in the life of local kids and adults alike was incredible. And everyone became Neymar for an afternoon…
And football brings people together, always.
To see the energy on the street pitch as the kids went all out, some in just slides and some without shoes, no expensive boots just power and passion. And that energy we witnessed spills out from the visuals from Miaous. A day full of good vibes which held the realisation that there is more to do here. This is real life, but in this part of town we hope to change these lives. WATCH THIS SPACE.
And Neymar if you’re reading… let’s go to Kingston!
Imagery and creative direction:
Miaous Barskdale, Chris Chang, Franklin Boateng, Sneakers PR
Creative assistant: Raechen Chang
We would like to say a massive thank you to the people of Spanish Town Road and Myrie Lane, Kingston Jamaica. We have more to do there, watch this space.
Hi-res photos can be downloaded HERE