Former African Player of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in trouble over his masked goal celebration linked to personal sponsors Nike after the striker scored for Borussia Dortmund in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Schalke in the German Bundesliga.
The Gabon international is famous for his sense of humour and playful nature on and off the pitch, having previously donned batman and spiderman masks when celebrating goals, to the delight of supporters.
The problem with his most recent celebration is the fact that the mask that he wore after scoring his 24th goal of the season is linked to “The Masked Finisher” television and print campaign by Nike, who sponsor Aubameyang.
Puma, Nike’s rivals in sportswear, are shareholders in Borussia Dortmund and have expressed their dissatisfaction with Aubameyang’s goal celebration, which they consider to be advertising for their rival in a shirt that Puma are heavily linked to.
The German sportswear giant has left it up to the club to decide the striker’s punishment, and according to German sports newspaper Bild, the fee could be in the region of $53,000.
This is the second time in less than a month that the Gabon forward has promoted sponsor while playing for Dortmund, as he shaved the Nike swoosh into his hair last month.
Reaction to Aubameyang’s goal celebration
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has bemoaned the situation, siting Aubameyang’s sponsors Nike as the culprits.
“This behaviour is unworthy of a big corporation. It can’t be that we have to force through the economic interest of Nike in this way. Our partner is Puma,” Watzke told Bild.
“A serious (business) relationship is different to that. The relationship is currently significantly strained at the moment,” the CEO admitted, with reference to the club’s relations with Nike.
Aubameyang was selected as the 2015 African Player of the Year after his sterling exploits for club and country, and continues to perform to a high level for both, scoring numerous goals in the German top-flight and for the Gabon national team.
The Masked Finisher
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