Manchester United and adidas announce record £75m-per-year deal after Nike pull out
Manchester United underlined their global status as a brand yesterday by signing the world’s biggest sports kit deal – for an astonishing £750m with Adidas.
Manchester United and adidas have agreed a mammoth new kit deal worth a record £75m-a-year - set to start in 2015-16, the deal will run for 10 years.
That figure, just £40m shy of what the Glazer family paid for the club in 2005, could potentially be worth even more, with the £750m over 10 years yesterday described as a “minimum guarantee”, though United refused to elaborate on exactly what that meant.
The fact United are not in the Champions League for the first time in 14 years and the team are being rebuilt under new manager Louis van Gaal has certainly not put off Adidas from trumping Nike, United’s kit supplier for 13 years.
Nike pulled out of negotiations over a new deal last week because they felt United were demanding too much money.
Adidas is paying more than double what Nike had been paying. However, Adidas chief executive, Herbert Hainer, explained why the new deal, which starts in the 2015-16 season, made economic sense when he predicted: “We expect total sales to reach £1.5bn during the duration of our partnership.”
The previous record kit deal was held by the France football team at £36m a year. The highest non-football deal is the £11m a year Nike pays the NFL.
The Adidas agreement was described in a statement as “a global technical sponsorship and dual-branded licensing deal”, with Adidas providing training and playing kit to all the club’s teams.
Adidas has not given any details about the design of the new strip but said it may look to United’s kits of the 1980s and early 1990s for inspiration.
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United, who this season begin a world-record seven-year £53m shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, boast a huge international market, especially in the Far East.
Only yesterday it was announced that NBC Sports in the United States will show United’s summer tour match against Internazionale in Washington live on 29 July, reflecting the growing pull of English football in the States and a love of the game buoyed by the US national team’s World Cup showing.
Mark Robins pictured wearing an Adidas-sponsored shirt in 1990
Despite overseeing the Netherlands’ campaign in Brazil, Van Gaal is taking just two days off before formally taking charge at United this week.
“I don’t need a holiday,” the 62-year-old former Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Ajax coach said. “It’s great to have such an exciting challenge.”
Van Gaal’s first match in charge of United will be on 23 July in a friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl.
United have invested this summer in strengthening their squad after last season’s disappointment, with the £30m-plus signing of Luke Shaw following the estimated £29m deal for Ander Herrera, and Van Gaal looks set to continue the spending with interest in Juventus star midfielder Arturo Vidal increasing by the day amid talk of a £34m move.
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