The unthinkable player-boot partnership might just happen as Erling Haaland trains with a whiteout prototype of what look like the next generation of Nike Phantom boots. It would be quite an extraordinary twist in the boot sponsorship saga considering the narratives surrounding both the player and the Nike silo. With the Manchester City striker lacing up a boot arguably in beta testing mode, it essentially means that the Swoosh brand is very much in the running, if not in the driving seat for securing the Norwegian’s signature for a deal.
Assuming that the deal happens, Nike will have a powerful duo in Mbappe and Haaland representing the Mercurial and Phantom! Two clinical strikers tearing up their respective leagues wearing their respective Nike boots can only bode well for the American sportswear giant…
Haaland’s Football Boots (The Story So Far…)
It was just months ago when Erling Haaland, given all indications in matches, trainings, and press appearances, would become one of the biggest names in adidas football and a representative of the X Speedportal silo. Apart from his official press introduction and trainings wearing the X boots, it was in the Community Shield match that made it seem certain that he was going to be signing up for adidas.
But the football star immediately switched to the Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 from the Motivation Pack (last year’s Nike season-opening pack) to kickstart his first Premier League season, and hasn’t looked back since then. This has dragged on for months already, clearly indicating that the adidas deal is not as straightforward as once thought. Superstition or not, it’s a fact that Haaland only started scoring goals when switched back to his trusted Mercurial pair (even missing a sitter with the Speedportal in the 22/23 Community Shield).
Nike Attempting to Raise the Profile of the Phantom Boots?
It’s safe to say that the Phantom GT, while still an excellent pair of football boots and with its distinct features and benefits, may not have reached the level of acceptance Nike was anticipating. In fact, Nike did not bother providing an announcement for the arrival of the Phantom GT2, quietly slipping into as part of the Nike Renew Pack. Apart from that, the Generative Texture was changed from a sophisticated pattern to a generic, streamlined chevron one, which kind of defeats the marketing for the Generative Texture technology in the Phantom GT1.
It would be a great reset of some sort if Nike can: A) Upgrade and introduce something new to the Phantom line; and B) Get Haaland to wear the new-gen Phantom Nike boots. Haaland and Mbappe could be the next big football rivalry since the CR7 vs Messi debate (and arguably a fairer comparison since both players play up front). No words can express how massive it would be for Nike & their football boots if both stars end up representing the different silos of the Swoosh brand…