'Multi-million-dollar' sports brand set to replace Nike as Manny Pacquiao's sponsor
Manny Pacquiao is already in negotiations with another top sports brand to replace Nike as his sponsor after being dropped by the US brand for his comments about same-sex couples.
The Philippine boxer had his endorsement contact with Nike terminated last week after he compared same-sex couples to animals. The remarks sparked a global backlash, particularly from US athletes and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
In a statement released shortly after he made the comments Nike said: "We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community."
It seems that another leading sports brand is considering stepping into the ting with the 37 year-old eight-time world champion though.
His business manager, Eric Pineda, told AFP that "There are several already now in the pipeline. They (the Pacquiao camp) were actually negotiating with some already.”
He said they included a "multi-million-dollar" brand that would likely replace Nike as the supplier of Pacquiao's sports gear.
Pacquiao, who is gearing up for his against Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas in April, has since apologised for his comments, however given that he plans to retire from boxing afterward the bout it is unlikely that many other western sponsors would be looking to forge a new deal with him.