Ronaldo Nazario, 45, ended his career as a player in 2011, but, before that, he had already started in the business of being a businessman. This aspect accompanies him since the second part of the trajectory inside the lawn. But, like an athlete, he was gaining experience, the stuff, learning to position himself better and better in his field.
Ronaldo’s professional life formally began in 1998, which would be his toughest year on the field, when he suffered a convulsion before the World Cup final in France and was still on the field. The attacker seemed to believe that all charges, which also affected his well-being, should have a plan B if, due to injury, health or even the natural termination of his career, a new life was necessary to manage. A player’s career ends when he is on average 35 years old. Some extend for longer seasons. In Ronaldo’s case, he announced his retirement at the age of 34.
Then came projects like R9 Nightclub, in 1998, in Leblon, and in the center of, is already extinct Physiotherapy R9, Created in 2002 after recovering from a broken knee and becoming world champion, remains active in Rio. Those were Ronaldo’s pursuits of his own life: a taste for fun with friends and a concern for taking care of his body, especially in relation to physical recovery.
In 2010, amid his trajectory at Corinthians, where he worked between 2009 and 2011, after playing for Milan, he invested in the company. Marketing 9ine, who began managing the careers of athletes and artists. This was another phase in which he revisited a subject related to life: how to deal with the coming and going of a successful or promising career, so that it would not get lost in enthusiasm and lack of planning. The company also did not continue. Ronaldo always opened and closed his businesses without disclosing the size of the investment. He knew how to use his image and was an open door for partners and outreach. Ronaldo’s charisma has always helped him in football. I knew I could take him to other businesses.
“When he arrived in Corinthians, he was already the manager of a large commercial estate. He had a team that took care of his contracts and, like any other athlete, he was very aware of what he was going to receive. This awareness was focused on dealing well with matters directly related to sponsorship, contracts, his daily routine as a player, says economist Luis Paulo Rosenberg, former director of Corinthians Marketing Manager And one of the people most responsible for hiring Ronaldo in 2008.
Ronaldo’s move to Corinthians gave the player several subsidies in his performances off the pitch. The initiative of the Board of Corinthians at the time, served as a preview of the club-company more focused on professional administration.
For a few years, Corinthians began to manage huge sponsorship revenues, which led to the club leaving Serie B of the Brazilian Championship and becoming a “world power”, both from a sporting and marketing standpoint. It was all inspired by the arrival of Ronaldo, who ushered in a new era at Parque So Jorge. Until the party of his presentation, his arrival was met with much skepticism. But Ronaldo saw an opportunity at Parque So Jorge, in addition to playing for a few more years.
“I didn’t know if Ronaldo’s appointment would work. But I knew that, if it worked, it would be a hit, a milestone. And it happened. In marketing that is, to pick you up.” Must be based on some concepts. A project ahead. And the basis was the opinion of the doctor, technician and marketer”, he says.
Rosenberg says that, at the time, doctor Joaquim Grava said that Ronaldo’s knee surgery was reversible. Coach Mano Menezes consulted, saying that, even overweight (never disclosed), if Ronaldo could technically play 50%, he would already be the best in Brazil. And from marketing point of view it will be a good deal for all.
“It was a coincidence between medical, technical and marketing issues. And everything worked out because Ronaldo, who hadn’t been among the fans of the previous clubs, fell in love with Faithful, who impressed him,” he says. Huh.
The former director says that after the end of his career as a player, he did not give advice to Ronaldo. “I didn’t say anything else to Ronaldo about business in football. When he played for the club, in more serious financial decisions, he asked me for my opinion and I helped.”
Already retired and heavy, Ronaldo did not have the successful experience of gaining control of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, formerly Miami FC, a United States football (soccer) team that went bankrupt in 2014. However, the former attacker maintained his entrepreneurial profile and continued to expand his business. He changed from his shorts and training shirt to a suit and dress shirt.
He currently maintains the Ronaldo Academy, a football school franchise with 25 units in Brazil and three units abroad; Football Experience, one of the world’s leading digital football events, and opened another company, R9 Gestao Patrimonial e Financiera, to guide athletes’ investments.
It also has an NGO, Fundação Fenômenos, which develops and supports social projects, the information of which is broadcast on Twitch on the Ronaldo TV channel. “When the pandemic started, the isolation inspired me to delve more deeply into the gaming world. I began to play more and felt an increasing need to connect with fans, interact, give back. Watching life too regularly Done, I became more interested in the virtual universe and the way young people are connected, changing habits and, consequently, consumption patterns. The idea of Ronaldo TV emerged through this process of living”, said Ronaldo a while back. Was.
club in trouble
In early 2021, Ronaldo, together with Eduardo Baraldi, Ottavio Pereira and Gabriel Lima, inaugurated the Odz Network. The company is a holding company (which has shareholdings in other companies), in activities beyond those carried out by the sports marketing and entertainment agency Octagon, which is also owned by Attacker.
Operating in new entertainment formats, Odzz works with disciplines such as big data, games, eSports, sports management and experience, technology and audiovisual content production.
Another holding that Ronaldo has is Tara Sports, headquartered in Madrid, Spain. Tara is already working under the management of Valladolid, a club that was in the first division but which collapsed last season, in which Ronaldo holds the most shares.
And, if the purchase is completed, it was the company that would have acquired 90% of the control of Cruzeiro, a deal was announced on the 18th for R$400 million, covering 60% of the Club Dividas loan over six years. The mission was to pay %. Estimated debt is R$1 billion.
For Rosenberg, this new model in football is very welcome, but, according to him, it would be ideal to implement it first in clubs with better financial health. “The examples and initiatives are right, but they are going in the wrong direction right now. It is regrettable that investors with highly indebted clubs come for a financial restructuring, even starting to think about defaulting. The ideal would be to start with clubs that are in better conditions. They will use the capital to grow even more, adding management. But if, at this point, it is used for clubs like Cruzeiro and Botafogo So I hope it will be a good way”, he observes.
With Ronaldo’s experience at Valladolid, Rosenberg believes the professional, amidst mistakes and successes, is ready to take charge of Cruzeiro’s restructuring. “If there’s anyone who can make a comeback to Cruzeiro, it’s Ronaldo. He’s already got some experience and he has great technical support. He’s the ideal guy. Passion doesn’t get in the way. Just English football.” See, totally passionate and professional at the same time. Fans and managers want to bond. But the manager has a long-term strategy,” Rosenberg says. Ronaldo knows it all.
Ronaldo, a businessman, does not have the profile of someone who is precocious. He strives to be careful, to think before he speaks, and to surround himself with more qualified professionals than he guides him. In contrast to his characteristics as a sportsman, his sprints, with speed and bursts of muscle, which were fast, left no trace.
“Ronaldo is a cautious businessman, far from being hasty or unreasonable. He is very careful when investing,” says Rosenberg. To him, Ronaldo is a calculative, cold man looking for the right time to close a deal. So it feels amazing when a news is announced, but he has already put all the pieces together and it is sure to be done. In the professional arena, Ronaldo is more like a defender: safe and only good balls.