Manchester United’s historic 10-year, $US1.3-billion shirt sponsorship deal with Adidas could shrink significantly if the team struggles.
Starting in the 2015-16 season, if United fails to qualify for the Champions League in two-straight years, the sponsorship deal would be cut by 30% (roughly $US38 million) for that year.
It would be restored to the full annual amount — ~$127 million — once they qualify for the Champions League again.
The team disclosed the terms of the agreement in an SEC filing.
The top-four teams in the English Premier League qualify for the next year’s Champions League. It’s the world’s top professional competition. Last year’s disastrous seventh-place finish was the first time United failed to finish inside the top-four in the history of the Premier League.
Despite the team’s history, it’s undeniable that it’s becoming harder to qualify for the Champions League.
There are currently five EPL teams (United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal) that expect to finish in the top-four every year. There are also a few mid-tier teams teams, like Tottenham and Everton (which just bought Romelu Lukaku for a record $US47 million), with Champions League ambitions and the money to make it happen.
To put things in perspective, even if United’s Adidas deal is reduced 30%, it’d still be nearly double what Nike pays Barcelona ($46.3 million), it’s most expensive kit partner.
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