Manchester United and adidas today announced their official partnership, a record-breaking deal set to begin in 2015/16. The deal will bring a guaranteed £750 million (or almost $1.3 Billion dollars) over the 10 years, the equivalent of £75 million a year. This is more than double what Nike currently pay, and smashes the previous British record of £30m-a-year which was recently agreed by Arsenal and Puma.
adidas was the jersey and apparel sponsor for the Red Devils from 1980 to 1992. The jerseys from the era are some of the most memorable with the Sharp Electronics sponsor logo across the chest. This deal gives adidas the rights to produce all kits as well as distributing Manchester United merchandise across the globe.
The announcement comes just days after Nike released their new home kit for the 2014/15 season, which has received a lukewarm reception. Nike revealed last week they had pulled out of the running to continue their 13-year partnership due to the enormous figures involved, while adidas are thought to have fought off competition from Warrior and Under Armour.
The adidas Group CEO, Herbert Hainer, had this to say: “We are excited to team up with Manchester United, one of the most successful and most loved football clubs globally. 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. At the same time, this collaboration marks a milestone for us when it comes to merchandising potential. We expect total sales to reach £1.5 billion during the duration of our partnership”.
The news could hardly come at a better time for United, who are expected to miss out on as much as $85 million due to their failure to qualify for the Champions League next season. The deal will not only ensure further financial stability for the Red Devils, but will mean they can continue to compete in the transfer market with England’s best and other European giants.
United have wasted no time this summer revamping their squad as they look to eradicate the memory of a hugely disappointing campaign under David Moyes. New coach Louis van Gaal will begin work on Wednesday, whilst the club have already completed the signings of highly-rated teenager Luke Shaw for £30+, and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera for £29m. Reports have also linked United with moves for Arturo Vidal and Angel Di Maria to add to a squad that already includes Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and David de Gea.
Meanwhile, adidas can now add Manchester United to a very impressive partnership list that includes the likes of European champions Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea FC and AC Milan. Starting next season, Juventus will also join Manchester United as the two newest top European teams in adidas’ club portfolio.