After twelve years producing the iconic red shirts of Manchester United, Nike have revealed that the 2014-15 season will be last the Swoosh will appear at Old Trafford.
Having only revealed the new home shirt for the club yesterday, it would appear that leaks of conversations between Nike and the Manchester United board have forced Nike’s hand in revealing they will not be opting to continue their shirt deal with the club.
“Manchester United is a great club with passionate fans, we are proud to have partnered with them for the last 12 years and will continue to sponsor the club until the end of the 2014-15 season.
Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial and the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike’s shareholders. We look forward to a successful final season with the club.”
– Nike Spokesman Nigel Powell
Sources close to the staff handling the sponsorship suggest that Nike were unwilling to match the figure put forward by rivals adidas.
The current kit supplier has the right to match or better any offer put on the table by a rival during the negotiations, and on this occasion, Nike opted not to take that.
Early discussions suggested Manchester United officials wanted a ground-breaking $1 billion dollar kit deal in the form of $100 million per season on a ten-year contract.
adidas already have the highest-value shirt sponsorship deal in their portfolio; Real Madrid at $50 per season until 2020.
Should adidas have met the Old Trafford club’s valuation, they could well be forced to raise the current European Champions deal in kind.
adidas have, of course, been shirt supplier to the Red Devils previously; including a fan-favourite stint in the 1980’s before Umbro took the reigns in the early 1990’s.
Nike now face the prospect of a diminished roster of Premier League clubs, having lost Arsenal to PUMA (a deal which came into effect last week) and Everton to Umbro.