Judging by initial reactions among the PR and sponsorship communities it looks as if Wayne Rooney’s endorsement deals are safe for the present, despite the lurid stories at the weekend alleging his prolonged involvement with a £1200 a night prostitute.
Rooney is believed to earn over £7 million a year from sponsorship and advertising contracts with brands that include Nike, Coca-Cola, Nokia and EA Sports. So far the brands, in their public statements at least, are sticking to the line that it’s his private life and doesn’t affect his commercial standing.
These days they are probably right. As far as his sponsorship base, the punters, are concerned, his abysmal form in the World Cup in South Africa was a far greater threat to his commercial potential than the latest revelations, which will come as no great surprise, given his grapplings with a “granny of the night” a few years ago.
One PR expert suggests that Rooney will have to rebuild his reputation but given this year’s stories regarding other England footballers like Peter Crouch, Ashley Cole and John Terry, Simon Bristow of the Pitch agency is probably closer to the mark when he says: “Footballer scandals are ten-a-penny nowadays so people will forget about him fairly soon. However the sooner he starts scoring lots of goals the better.”