With Arsenal leaving Nike for PUMA, there’s talk that Manchester United has also begun shopping around as its Nike deal draws to an end. Having signed with the sporting heavyweight for the last 12 years, Nike is presenting new partnership terms, while the likes of adidas, PUMA and New Balance’s subsidiary label Warrior have all been touted as options for the Red Devils, according to Footy-Boots. With Chelsea and Arsenal hitting the £30 million GBP (approximately $49.7 million USD) per season mark, United will likely aim to match or surpass that sum, with rumors swirling as high as £50-£65 million GBP (approximately $82.8 million USD-$99.3 million USD) — potentially eclipsing the world record fee of £31 million GBP (approximately $51.3 million USD) per a season, held by Real Madrid. A likely candidate could be adidas, who endorsed the team in the ’80s and ’90s, yet with Chelsea as its staple club in the Premier League, the decision is likely to be met with friction.
While United may be open to options, Nike’s arguable status as the world’s top sportswear brand is beneficial to the team from a marketing and branding perspective. The presence of Nike in the international market puts United at the forefront of the global audience, with great advertising opportunities and a social presence that would continue to boost the brand. Yet with United currently experiencing a tumultuous transitional season post-Sir Alex Ferguson, there are some uncertainties for one of the world’s most well-known clubs. The recent signing of Juan Mata, with a slew of other players rumored to be part of a massive spend bestowed upon manager David Moyes, one has to think that a minimum top four finish to guarantee Champions League football will be an important bargaining chip.