Chelsea signs $1bn kit deal with Nike

© Toby Melville
Chelsea has signed a 15-year kit deal with Nike worth $73 million (£60 million) a season, making the Londoners the Premier League's second-best performer behind Manchester United for new commercial deals over the past two years.

In May, Chelsea agreed a $50 million fee with Adidas to terminate their existing agreement six years early in 2017. Adidas was paying Chelsea $37 million per year, but it will be replaced by Nike from next season.

Chelsea wanted to leave Adidas because it was receiving less than half of the $92 million annual amount United was getting from the German sportswear giant.

"This is an incredibly exciting and important deal for the club," club director Marina Granovskaia said.

"Like Chelsea, Nike is known around the world for its excellence and innovation and we look forward to working together in what is sure to be a successful partnership.

"We believe Nike will be able to support our growth into new markets as well as helping us maintain our place among the world's elite football clubs."

Trevor Edwards, president of the Nike brand, added:"Chelsea is a world-class club with a rich tradition and passionate fans across the globe.

"The partnership with Chelsea reinforces our leadership position in football. We are excited to help grow the club's global reach, serving players and supporters with Nike innovation and design."

Ex-Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow has boosted the club's global commercial income since joining Chelsea in 2014.

The Stamford Bridge club signed a $50 million-a-year shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber last year – the second-largest shirt sponsorship deal in English football history – while Purslow has also been instrumental in an improved deal with Delta Airlines and a $12.5 million-a-year training kit contract with Thai energy drink Carabao.

Chelsea's ground capacity of 42,000 has left it needing to concentrate on increasing income through sponsorship, with attempts to extend its ground being stalled by planning issues.

While United’s and Chelsea's kit deals lead the way in the Premier League, both could soon be dwarfed by Real Madrid.

The La Liga giants are believed to be in negotiations with Nike and Adidas about a possible world-record deal that could be worth over $120 million per year.

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