Insiders at Adidas understand it’s a matter of when, not if. The deal would smash the current Premier league record that Arsenal hold having signed with Puma this summer, worth up to a reported £30 million per year.
Current manufacturer Nike have the right to match any offer that Adidas may present, however, it is deemed unlikely after 10 years of record-breaking contracts that Nike will exercise this right due to United’s absence from the UEFA Champions League next season. Furthermore, the clause in their contract affording them exclusive negotiations with United expired last Autumn, opening the door for Adidas.
It is reported that during last seasons Champions League match against Bayern Munich, Chief Executive Ed Woodward used the opportunity to listen to offers from senior figures at Adidas. Despite criticism from a football point of view, there is no doubt that Woodward cuts a savvy business figure, engineering this deal in the same week he announced a 60% increased in quarterly profits at the club.
It is thought United will use the deal to expand their brand in context of fashion sales, taking advantage of Adidas’ growing popularity as a fashion statement in the Far East.
Whatever the motive, the deal looks to be another fine piece of global marketing that Ed Woodward is at the helm of.
By Jonathan Evans
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