Production of uniforms for one of England’s biggest soccer clubs may soon move from an American company to a German one, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Manchester United’s (MANU) deal with Nike ends after this year, and sources tell the Journal that the Oregon-based company has walked away from negotiations after rival Adidas offered up more than £60 million ($103 million) a year for the sponsorship.
The Journal reports that Nike (NKE) has the right to top any offer, but has told the Premier Leauge that it isn’t interested in paying that much, and will be opting out. This would be a major coup for Adidas (ADS). The German company already sponsors fellow Premier League giant Chelsea. Adidas said last month it expects to sell €2 billion in soccer-related merchandise this year.
Apparently, a smaller company is also interested in Manchester United’s business: Warrior Sports, a lacrosse-gear company and subsidiary of New Balance.
The soccer club unveiled what may be its last Nike-produced shirts earlier this week, complete with new shirt sponsor Chevrolet, which replaces Aon. The response to the new design has been mostly negative, with many fans opining on Twitter that the uniforms are, quite simply, ugly.