Recently, Manchester United signed a new kit deal with Adidas. The agreement is reported to be worth an estimated $100 million a year over ten years. The Red Devils last had an Adidas kit manufactured during the 1991-1992 season when the company were replaced by Umbro. Umbro produced the kit for the next ten years (2002) before being replaced by American giant Nike. John Considine recently provided and excellent video link on the ongoing battle between Adidas and Nike in the football merchandise and equipment market which can be viewed here.
What may have come as a surprise to many is news over the weekend that the new Adidas deal is based on performances. Should the club fail to qualify for the Champions League for two consecutive seasons from 2015 onwards, the deal will be cut by 30%. According to the BBC “details of the deal with Adidas…emerged after United offered more of their shares on the New York Stock Exchange”.
While this may be disappointing news for some fans, credit most go to the United’s hierarchy for striking the deal, which puts the Red Devils streets ahead of their main competitors. The table below presents the top five kit and sponsorship agreements ever in world football.