Image and branding have become important aspects in the general outlook of how a football club is run. This can be seen in the kind of soccer kit deals that clubs and national teams sign with sportswear manufacturers these days. A kit deal is not just an important way to increase revenue but a platform to showcase the culture, general look, and artistic impression of a club or national team. So, what exactly goes into the process of a football kit deal?
Why do we have kit deals?
Football teams have recognized that their popularity as a brand is a good way to increase revenue because the kit, they wear acts as a platform for advertisers to market their goods and services. This is a win-win situation for soccer teams and kit manufacturers. This is because the club or national team will sign multi-million deals guaranteeing huge revenues in return for a huge audience that kit makers like Adidas and Nike will advertise and sell their products to. A football team that has huge followership is an attractive prospect for potential kit suppliers because such clubs are usually watched by a huge audience that tunes in to view their games. The opportunities for merchandising are also enormous because of the large number of fans who will buy the kits or other branded items produced by the manufacturer.
Why do kit deals differ?
It’s a common thing to see some football teams sign more lucrative kit deals than others. The basis for that is that many soccer teams are not as popular and as widely followed compared to the bigger ones. Sportswear manufacturers always want to seal the best deals that will guarantee the most revenue. Big global teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea who consistently win trophy almost every season, guarantee a certain level of profitability and exposure that most kit makers will want to associate with. Smaller teams tend to sign smaller and shorter kit deals because they have less appeal and followership.
Functionality of kits
Apart from the huge amounts of money soccer teams can make from signing lucrative kit contracts, these deals ensure that their teams always get the best and top-of-the-line sportswear that will guarantee improved performances. By associating with reputable kit manufacturers, football teams will usually get the latest in technological advancement when it comes to sportswear. This will ensure that they keep winning on the pitch, which in turn guarantees continued mutual profitability between the sportswear company and soccer team.
How do kit deals work in football?
In a nutshell, Kit deals are similar to licensing deals. The kit manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas and Puma pay the club a certain fee supply the football team kits, and to use the club’s colours and badge to sell replica shirts. For example, Chelsea’s signed a £900m deal with Nike in 2016 and will last 15 years – which amounts to £60m per season.
This is different from football shirt sponsorship deals, where a company pay the club to advertise their brand in the shirt in the football club.