Manchester United sign bumper kit deal with Adidas
Agence France-Presse in London
English Premier League giants Manchester United on Monday announced a record 10-year kit deal with German sportswear group Adidas worth £750 million (HK$9.9 billion) after US rivals Nike walked away from the club.
The sponsorship switch comes after Nike left the bargaining table last Tuesday when Adidas agreed to more than double Nike’s current contract.
“Manchester United plc... has reached a ten-year agreement with Adidas for a global technical sponsorship and dual branded licensing deal for a minimum guarantee of £750 million... beginning with the 2015/2016 campaign,” the club said.
The club’s current 13-year deal with Nike, worth £303 million, is due to end in 2015 and an exclusivity period enabling the Oregon-based manufacturer to negotiate a new deal recently expired.
Adidas group chief executive Herbert Hainer said he was “excited to team up with...one of the most successful and most loved football clubs globally.”
The record-breaking deal dwarfs the £248 million eight-year Adidas deal with Spanish team Real Madrid and the £30 million deal announced between Puma and English rivals Arsenal.
“Our new partnership with Manchester United clearly underlines our leadership in football and will help us to further strengthen our position in key markets around the world,” he said.
“At the same time, this collaboration marks a milestone for us when it comes to merchandising potential.”
The CEO said he expected total sales to reach £1.5 billion over the course of the deal.
Despite calling Manchester United “a great club with passionate fans”, Nike revealed last week it would not renew its deal.
“Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial, and the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike’s shareholders,” it said.
“We look forward to a successful final season with the club.”
Adidas also beat off competition from US manufacturers Warrior and Under Armour during the multiple party talks.
The German manufacturer last supplied United’s kits in 1992.
United is one of the most recognisable footballing brands globally and the club has won 62 trophies, including three European Cups and a record 20 domestic title, over 137 years.
But the club are currently rebuilding following a poor seventh place finish in the Premier League last season that saw manager David Moyes lose his job, and failure to qualify for the lucrative Champions League.
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has been given responsibility of restoring United to the top level of European football.
After leading the Dutch to third place at the World Cup, Van Gaal will have just two days off before beginning work at United later this week.
The 62-year-old will spend time with his new players at United’s Carrington training ground before flying to the United States for the club’s pre-season tour.
Despite the quick turnaround after the World Cup, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss can’t wait to get started.
“That is no problem for me, I don’t need a holiday,” Van Gaal told United’s website.
“It’s great to have such an exciting challenge. To work daily with young people is something that I don’t need time off to rest for.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve only met two people from the daily management at the club, the chief scout and the chief executive officer.
“It’s time that I get to know more people at the club.”
Van Gaal developed a strong team spirit during his Netherlands reign and he wants to foster the same positive atmosphere at Old Trafford.
“I hope the group in Manchester will become like this [Holland] one,” he said.
“We have to sing from the same hymn sheet.”