After 25 years of partnership, Barcelona and American kit supplier Nike may be parting ways.
Since 1998, Nike have been the official shirt manufacturer for the Camp Nou team, and their deal extends until 2028. When this is completed, it will have been precisely 30 years since Nike have manufactured Blaugrana’s kits.
The Americans have tailored some of the most recognizable jerseys and supplied the Camp Nou side with their products. Legends of the game who have played at the highest level have donned these jerseys.
Starting with the commemorative shirt from 1999 all the way up to the new century jerseys that stars like Ronaldinho, Andres Iniesta, and Lionel Messi have worn. As a result of these players, Nike will forever be associated with the Camp Nou side.
With a minimum of $109 million every season, the Catalan club’s present agreement with Nike is one of the most profitable in international sport. It might even reach $169 million with annual incentives.
Issues arise after 25-year collaboration between Nike and Barca
Despite the close relationship that has developed between the two groups throughout the years of collaboration, rumors indicate that there are still some underlying problems.
From the club’s perspective, there are a few service concerns that they aren’t happy with, as per Catalan outlet SPORT. These include the quality of certain procedures, designs, and player service.
While the Blaugrana have their fair share of critics, the sportswear company has her own. They claim that meeting all of Barca’s requirements is difficult. In their view, the club is the one that is sometimes tardy with certain choices or dates.
It has been stated that the Catalans are also interested in renegotiating the ongoing arrangement since they believe it has devalued their team. They are looking at every possible avenue to boost their regular revenue, which might lead them to end their 25-year association with Nike.
What other options are left for Barcelona?
Even though Nike have the upper hand owing to the inked deal, Barcelona have shopped about and believe their agreement sum is below market value. As a result, the club wants to renegotiate certain terms with Nike.
The report adds that the Catalan giants are considering switching up the sponsor of its jerseys in light of recent events. When it comes to potential alternatives to Nike, New Balance is among the top contenders.
Nike’s American competitors have asked what the Spanish team’s actual alternatives are for terminating their deal with Nike. The situation, however, does not seem promising. This is a contract that the club thinks it can’t possibly breach. Nevertheless, they are now in discussions to attempt to achieve a more satisfactory outcome under the current arrangement.
Whether Barca decide to stay with their long-term kit supplier or renegotiate their arrangement is still up in the air. Nevertheless, it seems that there will be no lack of possible suitors to fill the void.
If they ultimately decide to split with Nike, it could happen either before or on the expiration of 2028.
Photo credits: IMAGO / NurPhoto : IMAGO / photothek
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