By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid striker and reputedly the highest paid footballer in the world, with earnings this year of US$93 million, has entered into a €75 million hotel joint venture with Pestana, Portugal’s top Hotel Chain.
Ronaldo and Pestana plan to open two new hotels, under the brand name ‘Pestana CR7’, in Madrid and in Times’ Square New York, by the end of 2018, in addition to the two pilot Hotels that have already successfully been opened by Ronaldo and Pestana in Madeira and Lisbon.
The name ‘CR7’ is a trademark combining Ronaldo’s initials and his shirt number.
Pestana is a Madeira family-owned chain of currently 90 upmarket hotels located in Portugal, elsewhere in Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Pestana hope that the joint venture with Ronaldo will help them to compete in the international luxury hotels’ market, especially in Asia, mainland China and Macau, and the Middle East, Dubai and Qatar, where Ronaldo is very well known.
The Pestana CEO, Jose Theotonio, told the media that:
“The joint brand is opening up possibilities to us, Pestana, where we would have hardly gotten alone.”
The CR7 hotels feature carpets with Ronaldo’s shoe prints, trophies and football tables, and the sound of crowds filling their corridors.
Pestana aims to have 100 hotels by early 2019, including CR7 hotels, and invest €200 million over the next five years.
Ronaldo’s venture into the hotels’ market follows similar investments made by footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs.
Ronaldo stated that:
“In Madeira where I was born hotels are an important industry that creates value and it always interested me a lot.”
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘email@example.com’