Juventus Announces Adidas Switch

Juventus, the reigning Serie A Champions recently announced a major sponsorship agreement with German sportswear giant Adidas.  The club officially announced the agreement in a press release last  week confirming that the deal would extend over a 6 year period accumulating to a total compensation of €139.5 million ($191.9 million USD*).  In addition to being the technical sponsor for all Juventus teams (Senior men’s team all the way through Junior youth teams) Adidas will also manage all licensing and merchandising for Juventus for €6 million a year ($8.25 million USD*).  Total annual compensation from Adidas amounts to €29.25 million ($40.24 million USD*) which more than doubles the amount currently agreed between Juventus and Nike which amounts to €12.4 million ($17 million USD*) a year according to the Swiss Ramble.

While the deal itself is straightforward with mentioned sales and performance incentives, what makes this deal interesting is how public both the club and Adidas made the information about the deal.  Nike has signed two major sponsorship agreements in this calendar year with current Serie A first place holders AS Roma and Inter Milan.  Both deals are reported to be major agreements and yet no financial information was released whatsoever.  Roma currently manufacture their kits themselves but after this season, Nike will be producing their home, away and 3rd kits while Inter Milan continue their relationship with Nike that began in 1998 for a further 10 years pushing to break the quarter century barrier.

Another interesting aspect is that normally these types of announcements are made in the final year of the previous kit supplier deal.  In the case of Juventus and Nike, their deal still runs through the end of this season as well as the 2014/15 season.  Much has been made of the rumored mega-deal between Arsenal and Puma that surfaced last year and with neither party confirming the agreement it seemed prudent that Arsenal were simply waiting until sometime in the final year of their Nike deal to make the announcement.  Juventus clearly don’t have an issue with making this announcement early though and the transparency of the whole deal is a bit refreshing if a little unique.

With Adidas’  heavy push into the Premier League, and this loss of the current Serie A champions, one might think Nike would be taking a hit, but more than likely things stay about the same for Portland based sportswear giant.  While they may have lost Juventus, as mentioned above they have picked up AS Roma who dropped previous kit manufacturer Kappa.  Add that to the new extension with Inter and it seems that the money has been reinvested.

Unlike the Premier League now, the kit manufacturer landscape in the Serie A is incredibly diverse. There are 11 different manufacturers, some known, others not so much.

This doesn’t include the Juventus, and also puts Roma in the Nike category.  For those scratching their heads when Norwich & Errea or Aston Villa & Macron partnered up, surely Serie A fans recognized both kit suppliers.

Adidas isn’t the only move that the Turin club has been making recently.  They have also signed up Samsung to be their official technology partner.  This makes Samsung the exclusive furnisher of the club’s stadium and training ground  for state of the art technology that includes TVs, Plasma Screens, and a giant  16 screen HD wall as well as providing tablets, notebooks and interactive whiteboards to the club’s youth academy and all the latest medical apparatus to the club’s medical team.

In addition to Samsung, Juve have also picked up Bwin as the club’s official online betting and gaming partner.  The three-year deal comes after the online gambling group were dropped from being the primary kit sponsor of fellow Serie A club AC Milan.  With Juventus, Bwin have strategically placed themselves back into the Italian market and will be able to take advantage of club co-branding, stadium branding and signage, access to Juventus players for campaign purposes as well as integrating and leveraging Juventus’ digital and social platform.

Currently sitting in 3rd place, Juventus are certainly among the favorites for this year’s Serie A title and Manager Antonio Conte and key players like Artutro Vidal and Andrea Pirlo will be working hard to make that a reality.  Looking forward though, it appears that Juve’s hierarchy have been working hard themselves at ensuring a financial future for the club and it will be interesting to see if this relative transparency becomes a trend.

Reporting on the business side of the world's game.