German sportswear company Adidas is reportedly in line to secure a world-record kit deal with Manchester United worth £600 million, beating off competition including American behemoth Nike.
Wayne Veysey reports the news on Goal.com:
Adidas is in pole position to secure what is expected to be a landmark kit deal with Manchester United worth a staggering £600 million, Goal understands.
The German sports manufacturer has emerged as the frontrunner to clinch a world-record agreement with the Premier League champions ahead of rivals Nike, Puma and Warrior.
Nike are currently the kit sponsors at the Old Trafford club. However, the £25.4 million-a-year deal that began in 2002 is due to expire in June 2015, and a six-month deal granting the Oregon-based company exclusive negotiating rights ended in 2013.
It seems that Adidas have managed to outbid Nike and others to secure the huge deal, and if the reports are true, it would make it the most expensive kit deal ever—by some distance.
While the length of any proposed deal is yet unknown, it is unlikely to be any longer than 10 years. That means the proposal would be worth at least £60 million per year, which almost doubles the next highest contract worldwide.
Barcelona currently sit second in terms of kit sponsorship, receiving £27 million a year from Nike until 2018, per Sporting Intelligence.
United's Premier league rivals Arsenal recently announced a deal with Puma which starts on July 1 and will be worth £30 million a year, as reported by Bleacher Report UK:
Arsenal ditch Nike after 20 years, sign £30m yearly deal with Puma. http://t.co/L59udM8H2Z— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 27, 2014
However, United are not to be outdone. If the rumoured deal goes through, they would become far and away the highest earners from kit sponsorship in the world.
The news shows the continued commercial power of the United brand around the world, a factor which has not been affected by the club's poor form this season, which currently sees them lying seventh in the Premier League.
With the Manchester outfit in need of a total squad overhaul, the deal with Adidas could prove very valuable both in terms of funds and as a representation of the club's stature in the world game.
While it may take them some time to reach the top of the pile again in terms of quality on the field, there is no doubt about their commercial appeal worldwide, and indeed the value of the Premier League as well.