International shirt deals are big business for the likes of Nike, Puma and adidas. They’re a valuable source of revenue as national pride grips nations in World Cup years, and a chance to align yourself with the best players and teams in the world.
But how much does it cost to sponsor a nation? We find out as we explore the Top 10 Biggest International Shirt Deals!
10. Uruguay – Puma – £3.5m a year.
Uruguay have been the surprise package of the last two major tournaments in world football. Uruguay have proved to be a shrewd investment for Puma, as they beat South American rivals Argentina and Brazil to become World Cup semi-finalists and Copa America Champions.
Though Puma had best watch their back – Uruguay’s deal with the German brand expires next year, and their new-found fame could well attract a big money deal from another brand.
9. Portugal – Nike – £4.8m
A team with star-power to spare, it shocks us to see Portugal in a relatively low spot on our Top 10 Biggest International Shirt Deals list!
Just to put it in a little perspective, Nike pay more per season for their individual sponsorship of Cristiano Ronaldo than they do for the whole Portuguese National Team – bonkers!
8. Argentina – adidas – £6.1m
Boasting the best player in the world in their ranks, Argentina are a valuable commodity in the footballing world right now.
Just as well, then, that adidas have got them tied up in a long-term deal until 2022, a term which will take in 3 more World Cups before expiring; that’s a serious commitment!
7. Netherlands – Nike – £6.5m
Ever since the 1970’s, the Netherlands have been revered as a country that produces some of the most entertaining football on the World Stage, and more than capable of churning out exceptional players.
Which is exactly why Nike have had such a long-standing agreement with the ‘Oranje’ of Holland, tying them up until 2018 in a deal that ranks 7th in our Top 10 Biggest International Shirt Deals.
6. Brazil – Nike – £10.5m
Whilst not at the same ‘feared-and-revered’ status of Selecao’s past, Nike have no doubt managed to capture an exciting time in Brazilian football.
As well as hosting a World Cup in 3 years time, Brazil have a host of exciting entertainers like Neymar, Ganso and Lucas breaking into the nation team. If their youngsters can fulfil their potential, the streets of Brazil could be flooded with Nike-branded Canary Yellow Jerseys for years to come.
5. Italy – Puma – £14.5m
Half-way up our list of the Top 10 Biggest International Shirt Deals are 2006 World Cup winners Italy. We’d have to guess that this deal was re-negotiated after the Azzurri pulled off a famous victory over France in Germany 2006, as the Italians flattered to deceive at Euro 2008 and South Africa 2010.
That said, the Italians have qualified unbeaten for Poland/Ukraine 2012, and will certainly be billed as Dark Horses heading into next year’s European Championships, something Puma will likely savour.
4. Germany – adidas – £17.5m
This one’s a no-brainer, as one of the longest-standing sponsorship deals in World Football, adidas and Germany have a mutually beneficial relationship with one another.
adidas ensure that their homeland’s talent is kitted out in their finest gear, whilst the German F.A. are so strongly pro-adidas they were caught forcing players to wear adidas football boots whilst playing for Germany as recently as 2006!
3. Spain – adidas – £21m
After decades as the ‘perennial dark horse’ of the international football scene, Spain have dominated the last two major tournaments with a scintillating brand of pass-and-move football.
adidas have been backing Spain since the 1980’s, and have them tied up in their current deal until 2018. Just as well, as if they were to renegotiate this year, we imagine they’d be a lot higher on our list of the Top 10 Biggest International Shirt Deals.
2. England – Umbro – £26m
About the only table you’re going to see England above Spain on any time soon, England are Umbro’s only deal in the top 10, but boy is it a doozy!
Whenever a new England Shirt is announced there’s always a considerable amount of hype surrounding it, generated by not just Umbro, but by the press, players and fans. It really is a national event, and it costs a pretty penny to be associated with it!
1. France – Nike – £37m
One of the biggest brand-changes in recent memory, Nike’s acquisition of the French national team came at a time of disharmony among Les Bleus.
After winning the World Cup and European Championship less than a decade prior, France began crashing out of international tournaments let, right and centre. So, it’s something of a gamble by Nike to give France the number one in our list of Top 10 Biggest International Shirt Deals. One which might need at least a few years to pay off.