UEFA Champions League: The Battle of The Kit Sponsors
Football is an extremely exhilarating sport because of its competitive nature. However, it is not just the fans that are sitting captivated in front of their TV screens cheering their favourite teams on. There’s a whole other aspect to football that is often overlooked by the massive fanbase of the sport.
This is the battle that is silently fought between the Champions League sponsors every year. Every company hopes that the finals will have both teams that they have sponsored. This is a really big promotion opportunity for them and generally means that they will see a good return for the investment that they have made in the form of sponsorship. Adidas and Nike have reigned supreme this season, sponsoring 6 out of the eight teams remaining in the league. The other two teams are sponsored by the other well-known sports giant Puma.
Madrid vs. Bayern
This match is undoubtedly a win for Adidas. With both teams representing the same brand, this match is sure to emerge with one Adidas team in the semis. Bayern’s 900-million-pound deal with Adidas has strengthened their ties till the year 2030. Madrid, on the other hand, is a fairly new sponsor for Adidas and is also in talks with Under Armour for their next sponsorship deal.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Monaco
Dortmund is a Puma-backed team with a deal that is expected to run until 2020. Puma owns a whopping 5% of the club after negotiations that increased the stake that Puma has in the club. Monaco has recently made the switch from the Italian sports equipment manufacturer called Macron to Nike in 2014. This means that this clash will be between the titans Nike and Puma.
Atletico Madrid vs. Leicester City
Atletico’s relationship with Nike began all the way back in 2001. The agreement between them was recently extended to the year 2026, which will signify 25 years of partnership between the two parties. Leicester and Puma have seen good days together. Their success in the previous season strengthened ties between the club and Puma. People flocked the store when the kit for 2016/17 was revealed. The kit sold 10 times more than it did during the first month of the season.
Adidas and Nike have a tight grip on the football sponsorship landscape. This monopoly is very hard to challenge by any other brand mainly due to the reputation and revenue that the two companies are backed with. In this league, however, Adidas seems to have the upper hand. Besides being the official sponsor of the entire competition, they also have the three strongest and most promising clubs under their hood.
Other companies like Under Armour and New Balance are also trying to make their entry into the European football scene but are very clear that they do not intend to compete with the biggest names in the industry and will instead try to overtake Puma in becoming the third largest kit sponsor in Champion’s League football. Just like the sport, there can only be one winner and only time will tell who wins the bragging rights this year!