The Ronaldo effect: Massive commercial boost expected from a number of parameters - in one area Manchester United will return as world's number 1

9 September 2021

Christiano Ronaldo
Photo: Alamy Christiano Ronaldo participating in the Gala Nominees World Player of the Year 2015 in the Kongresshaus Zuerich, Switzerland in January 2016. Back then - as a Real Madrid player he was popular among the fans. That popularity is still very much alive.

With Cristiano Ronaldo in line to play his first game back at Old Trafford this weekend, Nielsen Sports has predicted that the club will be the most watched in the world this season.

Analysis shared with Off The Pitch suggests that Ronaldo could add more than 60 million viewers of the club’s matches in the Premier League this season.

After Ronaldo moved to Juventus in 2018 the Turin club experienced a 15 per cent increase in cumulative TV viewership globally during his debut season there.

Spencer Nolan, managing director for the UK and Ireland at Nielsen Sports, says the signing of Ronaldo provides a major opportunity to drive a significant increase in United’s commercial revenues, which have flatlined over recent years. 

“The commercial impact of Manchester United re-signing Ronaldo will generate significant exposure for the clubs’ current sponsors, but it will also help the club secure sponsorship deals in the years ahead,” he says.

Jonathan Dyson dyson@offthepitch.com

Manchester United will become the most watched club in the world this season due to the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford, according to analysis from Nielsen Sports.

The Portuguese icon is set to make his return for the Red Devils on Saturday in the club’s home game against Newcastle Untied. Anticipation has been building across the world since his move from Juventus was confirmed on 27 August.

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