FC Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has adviced Mario Götze not to allow his supplier Nike to encroach on him. Rummenigge made the statement at the sidelines of the 27th Media Days in Munich on Wednesday.
Götze made it to the headlines last week as the midfielder striked another blow against adidas, the exclusive equipment supplier of the German national team and his club FC Bayern Munich, with unsanctioned Nike gear.
The youngster turned up for a German national team training session in the official team gear by adidas, but he wore knee-high football socks which prominently featured the famous Nike swooshes.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge strongly adviced Götze not turn into a puppet of his supplier and he didn’t rule out that the midfielder could be doing the whole thing on purpose.
“Maybe, I don’t know,” Rummenigge told while talking to Germany’s Sky tv channel in Munich today. “It could be also the intention of the supplier to anger a competitor. That’s absolutely something I could imagine.”
“But he shouldn’t allow them to encroach on him. That’s my advice to him,” Rummenige added.
It was not the first time that Götze turned up in Nike equipment to create some turmoil. The midfielder showed up to his unveiling at Bayern Munich in the summer wearing a Nike t-shirt. Bayern is kitted by adidas and the company is also a minority owner at the reigning UEFA Champions League winners. The German club had to apologize to the kitmaker and they even had to pay a fine.
German national team manager Oliver Bierhoff was not a happy man due to Götze’s behaviour. “There is only free shoe choice for us. Otherwise, we are naturally committed to our partners,” Bierhoff told BILD newspaper last week after the incident at the German national team camp.
“Although we do not have employment contracts with the players, we strongly suggest guidelines to make the importance clear to them and show community spirit. Finally, the sponsors are committed to a high degree, not only economically. So such actions should be excluded.”
Götze might earn a lot of justified criticism at the moment, but there is a big winner in this new chapter of ambush marketing in the world of sports… Nike!