Adidas today announced a ten-year, £750 million ($1.28 billion) kit sponsorship deal with Manchester United.
The deal dwarfs the previous biggest kit sponsorship agreement, Adidas’s £31 million a year deal with Real Madrid and Nike’s £40 million a year deal with France’s national football side.
Let’s see how the club’s sponsorship deals add up. All data is annual.
£75m kit from Adidas
£15m training ground naming from AON
= £143 million ($244m)
It more than doubles the club’s current £23.5m a year kit deal with Nike and £25m a year shirt naming deal with AON.
For context, that £143 million amply covers the annual wage bill of star players Wayne Rooney (£16m), Robin Van Persie (£10m) and Juan Mata (£7m) and, more importantly, the £71 million annual financing costs left from the Glazer family’s controversial debt-laden takeover of the club in 2005.
What’s in it for the sponsors? AON claims its brand awareness grew from 39% to 50% during the first year of its shirt sponsorship.
Kit manufacturers get brand exposure, and also revenue from lucrative replica kit sales. Fans buy an average of 1.4 million Manchester United shirts a year, putting it in an elite bracket of clubs that sell over a million shirts a year. Real Madrid also sells 1.4m, Barcelona 1.15m. Superstar players can spike that figure. Real Madrid claimed to have recouped the £80 million ($137 million) cost of buying Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 by selling 1.2 million Ronaldo 9 branded shirts in the player’s first season with the club.
Perhaps the figure that will matter most in the red half of Manchester is that Liverpool FC’s kit deal is worth £25 million a year, while the Merseyside club sells around 800,000 shirts a year.