There will be people who call Alphonso Davies a diva, but this happens when you finally have a relevant player on your squad.
Canada will head to Qatar in a few weeks to participate in the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Not only does Canada get to play in the greatest tournament in the world, but they also get to sell merchandise, produce sponsor commercials, and make more money than Canada Soccer ever has.
The lesson Canada Soccer is learning is when you have stars on the squad, you don’t get anything free.
In late August, as Gatorade put the finishing touches on a new ad to celebrate the Canadian men’s national team’s unlikely qualification for the World Cup in Qatar, a proposed commercial spot for the energy drink was sent for approval to Nick Huoseh, an agent who represents star player Alphonso Davies.
While the spot was to feature four players – Davies, a national team teammate, and two players from the Canadian women’s national team – Huoseh rejected the spot, advising Canada Soccer chief marketing officer Sandra Gage that no company other than ones Davies has personal deals with has permission to use his image in any advertising.
On Sept. 28, Huoseh went further. He advised Fanatics, the largest online seller of licensed sports merchandise, that it no longer had permission to sell Davies’ jersey on either its own website or Canada Soccer’s website, which it operates, because the federation has not negotiated for the right to market the 21-year-old Davies’ likeness and image.
Huoseh said he has told Canada Soccer that Davies deserves a portion of the profits of his jersey sales.
This isn’t new for World Cup teams; it’s new to Canada. Davies spends most of the year in Germany with Bayern Munich. Davies is a Champions League and Club World Cup winner. He’s a regular in Bayern’s starting eleven and plays in their biggest games. Canada has a star, and they need to give him star treatment.
Canada Soccer can quickly solve this issue by negotiating with Davies and paying him what he deserves. For the first time, Canada Soccer is relevant; they better start acting like it.