Planet China

The not-so-magnificent seven

Atletico Madrid’s coach Diego Simeone was fined for improper conduct in last month’s Champions League match against Italy’s Juventus. After winning the first leg 2-0, the Argentine celebrated by turning towards the Italian fans and grabbing his crotch. That came back to bite him again this week after Juventus won 3-0 at home to secure an aggregate victory. Juventus star player Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick, then goaded Atletico fans by imitating the ‘cajones’ celebration.

Also celebrating was Chinese menswear firm Qi Pai, which means ‘Brand Seven’ in Mandarin, because it announced this week the signing of the Portuguese superstar as a brand ambassador.

Ronaldo’s controversial ‘crotch’ celebration has a strange connection with the Chinese brand he is going to represent and his own clothing line CR7. As we reported before about Samsung’s Note 7 launch (see WiC343) and Apple’s “This is 7” slogan (see WiC340) – the word ‘seven’ has a slang connotation in Cantonese as the male sex organ. Hence Ronaldo’s deal with Brand Seven has been widely mocked by Cantonese speakers on social media. “CR7 is so ‘seven’,” was one of the most-liked comments. “I won’t buy Brand Seven’s suits but does it sell underwear? I may want to try one because of CR7” was another.

Brand Seven was established in 1979, growing into one of the top 10 menswear labels in China with more than 3,500 outlets across the country. It does not have any shops in Hong Kong, likely because of its brand’s unfortunate Cantonese translation.

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