Manchester United and Adidas have agreed to a 10-year extension of their partnership, valued at a minimum of £900m. This deal, set to run until June 2035, is considered to be the largest kit deal in Premier League history on a revenue per season basis, surpassing their previous agreement of £750m.
A Symbolic Relationship Reinvigorated
Manchester United and Adidas’ alliance is regarded as one of the most significant in global sports. “With roots dating back to the 1980s, our partnership has been reinvented over the last decade with some of the most innovative designs and technology in sportswear,” United CEO Richard Arnold said. Adidas, the German kit manufacturer, originally supplied United’s kit from 1980 until 1992, and the partnership was renewed at the start of the 2015-16 season.
This renewed arrangement comes at a time when United’s American owners, the Glazer family, are in the process of selling the club. The new deal includes a minimum financial guarantee of £900 million, subject to certain restrictions and changes.
Kit Deal Tied to Champions League Performance
The club’s participation in the Champions League is tied to a percentage of the yearly earnings under the original contract with Adidas. Failure to play in the Champions League for two consecutive seasons would result in a 30% reduction in annual compensation. Fortunately for the Red Devils, they will compete in Europe’s top club league again this season after missing out in 2022-23.
Despite missing out on Champions League football last season, United is on track to set a new income record. Due to higher matchday and commercial revenue, their annual projection has been raised to between £630m and £640m, which would surpass their previous best of £627.1m in 2019.
Focus on Women’s Team Amplified
The renewed deal will bolster the focus on Manchester United’s women’s team since its reintroduction in 2018. Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden voiced his enthusiasm, saying “Adidas and Manchester United are two of the most important brands in international football and it is very natural for us to continue our cooperation.”
United’s efforts to propel women’s football ahead are clear in this transaction, which marks a key milestone in the game’s development. The collaboration with Adidas has resulted in innovative ideas and iconic designs on and off the pitch that have captivated fans all over the world.
United’s Debt and Ownership Concerns
However, the club’s financial situation remains a source of concern. The Red Devils are still deeply in debt, owing over £950 million in total, including over £160 million in transfer fees. Last November, the Glazer family declared their desire to sell the club, but a buyout has yet to be finalised, amid rumours that some family members wish to keep an interest. The club’s future ownership remains undetermined as the formal sale process continues.