How Mohamed Salah Became a Commercial Titan in Football

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Mohamed Salah: Beyond the Pitch, A Commercial Powerhouse

In the modern landscape of football, players are not merely judged by their on-field performance but also by their off-field commercial success. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s Egyptian king, epitomizes this dual success, showcasing remarkable financial acumen alongside his footballing prowess. Philip Buckingham’s insightful article in The Athletic highlights the commercial juggernaut that Salah has become.

Salah’s Lucrative Ventures

Salah’s financial footprint extends far beyond his Liverpool wages. The annual accounts for Salah UK Commercial Limited, the company handling a portion of his off-field income in the UK, reveal a burgeoning wealth. With over £25 million on the balance sheet, up from £19.8 million the previous year, Salah’s off-field earnings are skyrocketing.

While these figures are dwarfed by his Liverpool wages—estimated between £18 million and £21 million annually since his 2022 contract renewal—they offer a glimpse into Salah’s commercial appeal. As Ramy Abbas Issa, Salah’s advisor, suggested, image rights and commercial activities elevate Salah’s earnings to around £1 million a week. This assertion, supported by a Harvard Business School study, indicates that Salah’s commercial value might soon outstrip his on-field earnings.

Photo: IMAGO

Brand Salah: A Global Phenomenon

Salah’s commercial appeal is unparalleled, especially in the Arab world, where he stands as the most recognizable sportsman. His endorsements span global giants like Adidas, Pepsi, Vodafone, DHL, Uber, Oppo, the Bank of Alexandria, and real estate company Mountain View. Abbas notes that each deal brings in between £3.5 million and £6 million annually.

Ehsen Shah, CEO of sports marketing experts B-Engaged, ranks Salah just behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar in terms of global commercial appeal. Shah emphasizes, “He’s been at the top of the game for a few years and he’s proven it at a top club.” This sustained success at Liverpool has cemented Salah’s status as the Premier League’s most commercially valuable player.

Dominating the Market

Salah’s market dominance is not just confined to the UK. His partnerships, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, are prolific. His longstanding deal with Adidas is a cornerstone of his commercial portfolio. Additionally, his face graces countless billboards across the region, enhancing his brand visibility.

In Egypt, Salah’s partnership with Vodafone has been particularly fruitful. The telecom giant has leveraged Salah’s image in numerous campaigns, offering customers free talk time for every goal he scored. Such innovative marketing strategies underline Salah’s impact and the high regard in which he is held.

The Premier League’s Commercial Titan

Dan Haddad, head of commercial strategy at Octagon, affirms Salah’s status as the Premier League’s top marketable player. Haddad attributes this to the inconsistency of other clubs and players in maintaining global relevance. “You could only really say that Erling Haaland has the potential to start to rival Salah,” Haddad notes.

Salah’s commercial clout is further highlighted by his social media following, which approaches 100 million. This includes over 63 million followers on Instagram alone, making him the most followed Premier League player. His social media influence significantly boosts his marketability, with brands eager to associate with his vast online audience.

Symbiotic Relationship with Liverpool

Salah’s commercial journey has been mutually beneficial for both him and Liverpool. His success on the pitch has driven his marketability, while his off-field activities have enhanced Liverpool’s brand. Salah’s name is the most commonly printed on Liverpool shirts, illustrating his popularity among fans.

However, the future remains uncertain. A £150 million bid from Saudi club Al Ittihad was turned down last summer, and Salah is entering the final 12 months of his Liverpool contract. Despite the uncertainty, Haddad believes that Salah’s departure would not significantly impact Liverpool’s commercial revenues due to the club’s strong fanbase.

Mohamed Salah’s commercial success is a testament to his status as a global football icon. From lucrative endorsements to a massive social media following, Salah’s off-field earnings highlight his extraordinary marketability. While his future at Liverpool remains uncertain, Salah’s commercial appeal shows no signs of waning. As Philip Buckingham’s article in The Athletic illustrates, Salah is not just a footballer; he is a commercial titan whose influence extends far beyond the pitch.

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