Sport giants Nike have pulled out of a shirt sponsorship deal with Manchester United. The Red Devils have asked for £60million+ a year for Nike to supply the kit and training gear. Nike has decided not to renew their contract with the club. However Nike have the first right of refusal in case they want to reconsider.
United have a long-standing relationship with Nike, but their current 13-year deal is set to expire on July 31st next year. Negotiations over the fees have been dragging on for approximately 12 months, with Nike paying Manchester United £23.3million under the current deal.
United have priced themselves out of Nike’s estimated valuation, which leaves the door open for rivals adidas to swoop in and strike up a deal.
Adidas already sponsor Premier League clubs West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Sunderland and Chelsea. If adidas are able to finalize a deal with Manchester United, they would arguably possess the strongest Premier League entourage, with Chelsea and Manchester United still major players in the world market. As of February 2014, the Ferguson dynasty has continued to live on at Old Trafford off the pitch if not on it, with Manchester United retaining the title in shirt sales. Statistics released by retailer kitbag.com show they are topping the sales league ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid (in second and third), with Chelsea in fourth.
United’s on-field season has had no effect on their shirt sales. The club still has a global appeal abroad among soccer fans.
If adidas matches Manchester United’s demands of £60m/year, this will be a successful summer in terms of new signings given that Louis Van Gaal’s appointment and the additions of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw. The club will be hoping to conclude a deal sooner rather than later with the season drawing near, especially given the lost TV revenue from UEFA Champions League soccer.