Sportswear firm, Adidas has announced its agreement to mutually end the sportswear supplier relationship with Chelsea Football Club, six years earlier than originally planned.
Both parties made the announcement to end the deal on 30 June 2017 instead of 2023 on Wednesday, saying it was a mutual agreement. Adidas has been a sponsor and sportswear supplier of Chelsea since 2006.
The German company said in a statement that it will receive compensation from Chelsea to end the deal early, allowing the Premier League club to “enter a new equipment agreement with a competitor.”
Adidas has said it is developing a new marketing strategy based around fewer teams, top individual players, digital media and grassroots campaigns.
The original deal, reportedly worth £290m, was announced in 2013. The sportswear company also hold a similar deal with Manchester United as well as sponsoring Champions League finalists Real Madrid and Italian side Milan.
The company said in a statement:
“Adidas… wishes to expressly thank Chelsea Football Club for their always professional and successful collaboration, which has included, among other successes, the time of their UEFA Champions League title in 2012 as well as two Premier League titles.”
In June 2013, Chelsea’s 10-year deal with Adidas, worth £300 million annually was seen as “the biggest deal to date”.
But that record has been dwarfed by Manchester United, which subsequently signed a £750 million-per-year deal and Real Madrid agreed a £1billion, 10-year deal – both with Adidas.
Individual players Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Gareth Bale are among the stars who hold their own deals with the German manufacturers.
Sponsorships with key teams and players play an important role in getting people interested in athletic brands, with gear worn for casual wear but also promoting the prowess of the brand within the world of sport.
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Chelsea unveiled their new adidas shirt for the 2016/17 campaign last week, but the designs have been criticized by supporters, for both the style and the cost – with the adult replica shirt costing £90 alone.
They will wear the shirt for the first time when they welcome new champions Leicester City to Stamford Bridge this Sunday.