It’s not clear if Mario Gotze’s recent branding gaffes are a case of ambush marketing, or purely absent-mindedness.
Either way, Bayern Munich have had enough, and have warned the young midfield star to pay better attention to what he wears on camera when he is on official duty.
Gotze first raised Adidas-sponsored Bayern’s hackles when he wore a Nike t-shirt at his unveiling by the club following his contentious move to the Allianz Arena from Borussia Dortmund.
He quickly apologised, but was at it again of late, when he again wore Nike-branded clothing on duty with the Adidas-sponsored German national team.
After being reprimanded by German team manager Oliver Bierhoff, Gotze again apologised sheepishly.
“I did not want to provoke or advertise,” he said. “I can promise one thing: This will not happen to me again.”
Bayern have now begun to suspect that Gotze could be the victim of manipulation, and have told the poster boy to keep his wits about him.
Asked if Nike were tricking Gotze into contravening his teams’ branding rules, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sky: “Could be. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the sponsor’s intention. I could imagine that.
“But he should not allow anyone to misuse him. That would be my advice for him.”