Puma delivered a major blow in its fight to gain ground on Nike by signing Arsenal to a record deal to become the club’s official kit partner.
The deal will generate about 30 million pounds ($50 million) annually for the Premier League club. The length of the deal was not announced, though a release on the club’s site calls it a “long-term partnership.”
Nike had been a partner of Arsenal for the past two decades.
“We are excited to be partnering with Puma, a company whose football heritage and record of innovation have a strong affinity with our own,” said Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis. “This represents another important step forward in Arsenal’s progression on and off the pitch.”
In addition to kits, the deal also provides the company with licensing rights as they look to develop and market Arsenal-branded merchandise on a global level.
“Arsenal have been a key strategic target for Puma for a number of years now,” said Puma CEO Bjoern Gulden. “Through a clear commercial vision, a well-defined sports marketing strategy, and a relentless enthusiasm within the Puma organization, we’re proud to have signed this partnership with a truly global football club.”
Gulden also mentioned that the deal reinforces “Puma’s credibility as a global sports brand.” The company already has agreements with the Italian Football Federation, Borussia Dortmund, and players such as Sergio Aguero, Cesc Fabregas, and Mario Balotelli, among others.
Arsenal will debut their new Puma kits in July.
Gazidis said the additional funds from the deal will be available to manager Arsene Wenger to invest in the team.
When asked about Wenger’s contract status, he said that more good news is in the works.
“Arsene will be extending with us and, at the right time, we will make that announcement,” said Gazidis, according to Reuters.
Wenger has managed Arsenal since 1996.
By INSIDER’s Nick Devlin