Manchester United to recoup Paul Pogba fee in commercial revenue
Manchester United can expect to recoup most of the world-record fee they paid for Paul Pogba in commercial revenue the midfielder generates, according to a leading football financial expert.
The Frenchman's return to Old Trafford from Juventus for £89million was sealed in the early hours of Tuesday morning after weeks of social media teasers and speculation.
The 23-year-old signed a five-year deal with Jose Mourinho's side and the impact of the adidas-sponsored midfielder's arrival is expected to stretch beyond the pitch in terms of financial gains too.
Rob Wilson, a football finance expert at Sheffield Hallam University, believes Pogba's marketability will allow United to make considerable returns on their initial outlay.
"It's safe say that the commercial activity will be significant, he will generate huge revenue from all sorts of things," Wilson told Press Association Sport.
"He's already endorsed by adidas and this helps the alignment of the brand, as they make the kit, so it's good news for adidas as well.
"Over the course of his contract, the revenue generated using Paul Pogba will eclipse the fee they've had to pay for him; whether it eclipses his wages is another matter, that depends on his development over the next couple of years, and Manchester United's development too.
"He's entering that elite bracket of players, the commercial big boys like (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi, Neymar, (Gareth) Bale - Pogba's probably the next guy."
Confirmation of Pogba's transfer came after midnight on these shores, though that meant it coincided with two lucrative markets, breaking in the morning over in the Far East and in the evening in America.
"It was a very shrewd move by them," Wilson added.
"Normally you'd see it announced in the morning over here to tie in with New York Stock Exchange. It was for those markets, for the US or the Far East, to make sure of the exposure.
"When adidas took over the kit contract, the activity they got from social media and TV with their 'Break Expectations' campaign was the biggest launch in football history.
"The views they had were off the scale and they will have used that intelligence with Pogba. The sheer number of images this morning definitely points to the fact that they wanted maximum exposure."
Wilson believes the arrivals of Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has given United two "iconic players" they have been missing since Ronaldo and David Beckham were on their books.
And Pogba also has a huge draw on social media, with a series of adidas adverts and a video with rapper Stormzy being used to increase the hype surrounding his return.
"The Pogba thing is synonymous with new media, it resonates with the new-age commercial deals," Wilson said.
"We wouldn't have seen the same with Bastian Schweinsteiger last year and he was a substantial signing at the time.
"They've looked at doing new and innovative things, striving for that social media space. Manchester United put a lot in with adidas and they did a lot with Ibrahimovic, it's to try and maximise exposure and dominate social media."