After 12 years of being the official outfitter for one of the most storied clubs in the world, Manchester United, Nike just announced they are ending their relationship with the club after this upcoming season.
The reports come after Nike apparently left negotations with Manchester to make their kits, and refused to match the number put out by perennial rival adidas. Sources say adidas offered nearly $100 million a year over the next 10 years to make the kits, making it the highest deal in sports.
Just yesterday, Nike unveiled a new look for Manchester for the upcoming season, but that’ll be the last going forward as they felt the deal was just too much. Nike has been making kits for Manchester since 2002, and was previously paying around $40 million a year, and although they clearly have enough money to match, they obviously felt it wasn’t the right move going forward.
“Manchester United is a great club with passionate fans,” Nike spokesman Nigel Powell said in a statement. “We are proud to have partnered with them for the last 12 years and will continue to sponsor the club until the end of the 2014-15 season. Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial and the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike’s shareholders. We look forward to a successful final season with the club.”