As of right now, the only club in the Premier League that is outfitted by Nike is Manchester City. However, that number will go up to two for Nike in the 2017-18 season, because Chelsea will be joining City in Nike’s camp.
The club itself said that the deal with Nike “represents the largest commercial deal in the club’s history,” and The Telegraph is reporting that the deal is worth £60 million a year over 15 seasons. For those of you who are doing the math at home, that’s a whopping £900 million deal.
The money is probably the most important part of this deal, since Chelsea were dissatisfied with Adidas to the point where they were willing to buy out the rest of their contract with Adidas (to the tune of £40 million) in order to jump ship early and get on Nike’s bandwagon.
Chelsea will wear Nike shirts from the start of the 2017-2018 season with the deal officially to commence on 1 July. The deal is worth twice what Adidas were paying Chelsea and the club had become frustrated that the German sportswear company was prepared to pay much more to secure or maintain the rights for other European sides.
The Telegraph went on to bring up Manchester United’s deal with Adidas as an example. Man U are currently earning £75 million a year with their deal with Adidas, so Chelsea probably saw that deal and realized that if Adidas weren’t willing to pay more, then the grass would be greener on the side of the Swoosh.
From an aesthetic standpoint, this actually may end up being a bit of a downgrade if current trends continue. Adidas’ soccer designs have been top-notch for the past couple of seasons, while Nike have fallen off a bit — especially this season when they’ve basically given most of their clubs the same template (with Paris Saint-Germain and the English national team basically wearing the same exact away kit). We’ll see if things change in time for next season, but surely Nike can’t mess up a simple design of all-blue with white socks?
While there may be concerns from a visual standpoint, Chelsea appear to be very happy with the deal from a financial standpoint, and that’s what really counts, right?