Update from Tuesday, July 1
The new Arsenal and Puma partnership has officially begun, marked by the following tweet from the Gunners' official Twitter:
The first new range of kits produced by Puma will be unveiled in the coming days, as detailed on Arsenal's official website:
Months of development work and planning have been happening behind the scenes and the global unveiling of Arsenal’s new kit will be held on the evening of July 10 in London.
PUMA will be producing the playing and training kit for all Arsenal teams, and Arsenal Ladies will be the first to wear a PUMA kit when they play in a special one-off design in the FA WSL Continental Cup game against Chelsea on July 6.
Arsenal have announced a deal with Puma which is estimated to be worth in the region of $49.5 million (£30 million) a year.
The Telegraph confirmed the news via Twitter:
Arsenal sign deal with Puma worth $49.5 million a year, ending 20-year association with nike— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 27, 2014
Arsenal also published the news on their official club website, where chief executive Ivan Gazidis said:
We are excited to be partnering with PUMA, a company whose football heritage and record of innovation have a strong affinity with our own. This represents another important step forward in Arsenal's progression on and off the pitch.
The deal is the biggest in both the Gunners' and Puma's history, with the German manufacturer acquiring rights to produce Arsenal-branded merchandise on a global scale.
It is another exciting move for Puma, which has strengthened the list of players it represents with Sergio Aguero, Cesc Fabregas, Mario Balotelli, Radamel Falcao, Yaya Toure and Olivier Giroud all joining the company's ranks as it attempts to become more of a force in the football market.
Puma has also signed 2013 Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and continued its relationship with Euro 2012 finalists Italy in a move it hopes will establish the organisation as the clear third brand in football, alongside Nike and Adidas.
As reported by David Kent in the Daily Mail, United were poised to sign a £300 million deal with Nike, while in 2011, Liverpool committed to a six-year deal with Warrior Sports for the same figure, per Andy Hunter in the Guardian.
John Cross of the Mirror reported that it gives Arsenal extra financial firepower:
The news will come as a significant boost to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who will see the benefits of the deal in additional transfer funds that could give him leverage to compete on more of an even playing field with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.