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From Nando’s to Snickers: The Brands Backing Bukayo Saka

From Nando’s to Snickers: The Brands Backing Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka has become the Golden Boy of English football thanks to his meteoric rise at Arsenal. After setting some impressive feats as a teenager, Saka’s rise really soared after the Euro 2020 campaign. Missing that decisive penalty in the penalty shootout loss to Italy in the final seemed to spark that hunger in him to come back strongly from adversity.

Saka earned some shameful racist abuse because of that, but a large section of English football fans also rallied over him. Arsenal protected and supported him through that difficult period and the Englishman, fueling him to get better and better. Over the last few seasons, Saka has been one of the major pillars of Arsenal’s rise from struggling to secure European Football qualification to challenging for the Premier League title.

This season itself, he has scored 16 goals and provided 13 assists in all competitions. He’s become a regular for the England national team after being one of their best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup – scoring three goals and providing an assist in four games.

The 22-year-old is only going to get better and is viewed as a potential future English Ballon d’Or winner. Saka has the attitude and traits to be the perfect brand ambassador for any brand, which is probably why he’s managed to bag so many sponsorship deals over the last few years.

The first major sponsorship deal that Saka signed was back in 2021, when he agreed for the American brand New Balance to be his official boots sponsor. He reportedly received a hefty £1.8 million fee for that deal and of course free boots to go with it.

Upon signing with them, Saka admitted that his family played a role in making him agree this deal and explained: “It feels amazing to have a brand like New Balance behind me. Working with the team and having my family involved has been a great experience so far, and it’s only just starting.”

New Balance has since kept its end of the bargain on this partnership by launching a new line of boots dedicated to the Arsenal star. Indeed, in early 2023, the American brand launched the New Balance Furon V7 Pro boots, red-coloured boots in homage to Saka. They also launched a gorgeous white boot the Furon V7 Pro Seven Edition later in the year too, with the detailing (in red) in the boots having his number seven, the Arsenal logo cannon and a reference to Saka’s ‘Little Chilli’ nickname.

Saka also signed with British Freelance Work platform Fiverr ahead of the Qatar World Cup in 2022 too. The plan was for Fiverr to publish videos featuring the Arsenal star where he would voice his desire to help entrepreneurs in the UK. In 2023, the Englishman partnered with Fiverr and UK agency Youth Beyond Borders to create Ideatorr, a special program created to help younger entrepreneurs learn the necessary skills and get the resources to bring their ambitious ideas to life.  

As part of this association, the Arsenal star also aided Malachi Simpson, the founder of Streetz Football in the UK – a place encouraging young athletes to come together and enjoy a healthy, positive way of living. Saka’s association with this brand mostly revolves around him aiming to help struggling people realize their dreams and not give up under a spell of trouble.

The Arsenal star also entered the fashion game last year when he surprisingly signed a deal with Burberry. Indeed, he became the British Luxury fashion house’s brand ambassador and has attended quite a few fashion shows wearing special attires. Saka has had some awkward meetings with Tottenham Hotspur captain Son Heung-min, who is also an ambassador for Burberry.

The 22-year-old recently attended the London Fashion Week earlier this year with Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard wearing a fashionable coat. While it’s still not clear how much Saka is paid by Burberry for attending shows for them, he definitely gets to keep these unique (and expensive) attires and is probably sent loads more attires by the brand.

He also loves the designs by Burberry and their lead designer Daniel Lee, as he told GQ Magazine recently: “I’ve really enjoyed working with Burberry. It’s been a fun partnership – I enjoy experimenting with my style and I love the fact that they have the London link, with both of us being born out of London. The way [Lee] has come in and changed a few things means I find myself going into stores and buying things as well. He’s doing really well for the brand.”

Saka has also made sure to endorse more ‘affordable’ brands and those which resonate with the common public. He recently tied up with the South African multi-cuisine restaurant chain Nando’s to create his own hot sauce. Named as the Peri-Peri Saka sauce, this sauce is dedicated to the Arsenal star and created using his favourite flavours with a tinge of Nandos’ spiciness.

The young winger gave all the details while unveiling the sauce, revealing: “The sauce mixes sweet, spiciness and smokinessI love it and can’t wait for everyone to try it. I’ve been going to Nando’s since I was little so to have my own PERi-PERi sauce in every restaurant in the country is quite mad! My family’s really important to me so I wanted to make sure they liked it, too. As soon as my Dad said he was a fan, I knew it was the one.”

The Peri-Peri Saka sauce is going to be available at Nandos UK and Ireland stores for a limited time only. However, it’s not been available for retail stores or to buy online – being exclusive for their outlets only. The Arsenal star has also started to feature in a special Snickers advertisement with Real Madrid star Luka Modric.

The newest Snickers Commercial sees Saka and Modric featured as part of the brand’s ‘own goals’ campaign. This is basically directed to attract the football fans and having two recognizable faces will definitely help. The hilarious advertisement shows a football fan having their hair cut while watching a match.

The supporter jumps up at a goal, which results in the barber trimming the entire portion of his hairline. Saka approaches the person and comments ‘Ah man! Seriously? You gotta trim when the match is on? That’s an own goal my friend!’ after which Modric approaches the person and makes the brand’s iconic ‘maybe you just need a Snickers’ dialogue.

There is still no clarification over how much Saka is being paid by Nandos or Snickers for his brand endorsements, but knowing his soaring popularity, it’s unlikely to be cheap. The Arsenal star is also paid lavishly by the club, with his newest contract reportedly seeing him earn a £300,000-a-week wage package.

But knowing Saka’s warm personality and lovable behaviour, it’s easy to see why so many brands want to partner up with him. The 22-year-old seems to be in the right track to only become much more valuable as he nears his peak and is likely to get many, many more brand endorsements in the years to come.