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Chelsea and Nike sign £900m deal

News, 17 October 2016

LONDON: Chelsea Football Club has signed a kit sponsorship contract with Nike, the US sportswear brand, which is reported to be worth £900m over the next 15 years.

The west London club announced that the long-term agreement will make Nike its official kit supplier at the start of the 2017-18 season with Nike supplying strips for the first team, academy and women's teams, as well as clothing for Chelsea's millions of fans around the world.

Chelsea, which described the partnership as "the largest commercial deal in the club's history", had been negotiating with Nike since confirming in May that its current contract with Adidas, the German rival to Nike, would end six years early.

The club is having to pay around £40m to end its association with Adidas, but this penalty will be absorbed easily as its new deal with Nike will be worth about £60m a season through to 2032, the Guardian reported.

"This is an incredibly exciting and important deal for the club. Like Chelsea, Nike is known around the world for its excellence and innovation and we look forward to working together in what is sure to be a successful partnership," said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.

"We believe Nike will be able to support our growth into new markets as well as helping us maintain our place among the world's elite football clubs," she added.

Trevor Edwards, President of the Nike Brand, said: "Chelsea is a world-class club with a rich tradition and passionate fans across the globe. The partnership with Chelsea reinforces our leadership position in football. We are excited to help grow the club's global reach, serving players and supporters with Nike innovation and design."

At £900m, the deal represents the largest of its kind in the English Premier League, and further illustrates the power of Europe's top football clubs to attract brand sponsors.

Real Madrid, for instance, has a deal with Adidas worth about £106m a season, while Manchester United's contract with Adidas is valued at £750m over 10 years. Meanwhile, FC Barcelona recently extended its partnership with Nike in a deal that will be worth £120m a year.

Data sourced from Chelsea FC, Guardian, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff