Starting in July, Puma will be replacing Nike as the sponsor of the victorious Manchester City football club and four others that it controls on four continents for the next ten years. The brand describes it as the largest deal of the kind that it has ever done. Reportedly, the value of the contract is more than triple the annual amount of £20 million (€23.3m-$26.3m) that the Swoosh has been paying for this important sports property.
At £65 million (€75.6m-$85.4m) annually, the contract is slightly more expensive than the £60 million that Puma is paying for Arsenal and Nike is paying for Chelsea. In the English Premier League, it is second only to the £75 million (€87.2m-$98.5m) annual contract between Adidas and Manchester United. It is still below the two Spanish football megadeals, whereby Nike is giving the equivalent of £100 million (€116.3m-$131.4m) a year to FC Barcelona and Adidas £95 million (€110.5m-$124.8m) a year to Real Madrid.
Under the new contract, which supports Puma's strategy to regain a solid global image in performance sports, the Wild Cat will become the official partner not only of Manchester City, the current Premier League champion, but also of four other clubs that are also owned by the City Football Club: Melbourne City (Australia), Girona (Spain), Club Atlético Torque (Uruguay) and Sichuan Jiuniu (China). The company will be supplying the jerseys for their men's, women's and youth teams.
Sichuan Jiunia is in fact a recent addition to City Football Group, which purchased its stake in the third-rank Chinese team in February, bringing the total number of controlled clubs up to seven. Of these seven, New York City and Yokohoma F. Marinos (Japan) are the only clubs that are not included in the deal with Puma.
Nike has had the club-wide deal with Manchester City until now, but Puma already has existing links with some of its players. On the men's team, the brand already sponsors Vincent Kompany, the captain; David Silva, the midfielder; and Sergio Agüero, the striker whose goal in the final game of the 2011/12 season secured the first of Manchester City's three league titles in the modern era. On the women's team, Puma sponsors Caroline Weir, Pauline Bremer and Nikita Parris.
In addition, Puma sponsors other European clubs, such as Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Marseille. On the other hand, its contract Arsenal is set to end this summer. Adidas will be taking over that sponsorship from the 2019/2020 season. Puma's sponsorship deal with Borussia Dortmund in Germany doesn't expire until 2022, but the club has reportedly hinted that it will want a major pay raise from its current annual fee of €10 million, considering that the Wild Cat has a bigger wallet now. According to Kicker magazine, it could be worth €20 to €30 million a year.
Football is not the only sport Puma has been prospecting in. Last month, the Wild Cat struck a sizeable deal to become an official partner of the National Basketball Association, allowing it to show its sponsored athletes in their NBA uniforms (see SGI Europe Vol. 30 n°7, 8). The company returned to basketball last summer with the release of its Clyde Court #Reform and sponsorships with a number of rookie players.