Manchester United has secured the most lucrative kit deal in football, announcing that Adidas has agreed to pay $1.3 billion over 10 years to take over the sponsorship from Nike.
The deal, worth 75 million pounds ($128 million) a year from 2015, was announced after Nike decided that trebling the cost of its existing 13-year equipment supply contract was not good value for the company.
The eagerness of Adidas to make the United kits is evidence of the durability of United’s brand value despite its worst-ever Premier League campaign.
Adidas currently pays around $50 million a season to Chelsea and Real Madrid, and United could make far more from the German sportswear firm than the headline figure of 750 million pounds, which is described as a “minimum guarantee.”
Nike has one more season as kit maker, recently unveiling jerseys featuring a gold Chevrolet logo for the start of the American automaker’s $559 million, seven-year jersey sponsorship deal with the team.
Adidas last held the United contract between 1980 and 1992 just before the club ended its 26-year wait for an English title in 1993, ushering in a period of dominance under Alex Ferguson.