Chelsea FC agrees to long-term kit deal with Nike

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LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Chelsea announced on Thursday a long-term partnership with Nike from next year in a deal that media reports suggested could be worth 60 million pounds ($74.61 million) a season.

Without giving financial details, Chelsea said it represented the largest commercial deal in the Premier League club's history.

"Nike will produce strips for the first team, academy and ladies teams, as well as a full range of clothing for Chelsea's millions of supporters around the world," the club said in a statement.

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Chelsea's current kit is produced by Adidas, which said in May it had reached a mutual agreement to end its deal on June 30, 2017, instead of in 2023 as originally agreed, allowing the club to enter a new agreement with another competitor.

Media reports have indicated Adidas were paying Chelsea an estimated 30 million pounds ($43.38 million) a year, with the Nike deal likely to be double that figure.

Adidas agreed in 2014 to pay 750 million pounds ($1.1 billion) to replace Nike as sponsor of Manchester United for a decade.

See who else benefits from the lucrative pro soccer business:

The net worth of the highest-paid soccer stars like Messi and Ronaldo
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The net worth of the highest-paid soccer stars like Messi and Ronaldo

Tim Howard Net Worth: $8 Million

Goalkeeper for the Colorado Rapids and the U.S. men’s soccer team, Tim Howard’s net worth is $8 million. The former Everton goalkeeper earned a $2.6 million salary in 2014, reported TheRichest, which tracks celebrity finances. Adweek reported he has six-figure endorsement deals with Nike and McDonald’s.

Tim Howard returns to Major League Soccer after a 13-year stint in England. ESPN reported the 37-year-old soccer player will make between $2.5 million and $2.8 million each year in his time with the Colorado Rapids. His contract will last through 2019.

Photo credit: Getty

Wayne Rooney Net Worth: $145 Million

With Forbes putting Wayne Rooney’s earnings at $26.1 million, the English soccer player is among the highest-earning athletes in the sport this year. He reportedly has earned $20.1 million off his salary and winnings, on top of $6 million off endorsement deals. Wayne Rooney’s net worth is $145 million.

Photo credit: Getty

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Net Worth: $160 Million

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a net worth of $160 million. The Swedish striker brings in $37.4 million in total earnings this year, landing him the No. 23 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes of 2016. Those earnings include a $30.4 million salary and $7 million in endorsements. More recently, Ibrahimovic inked a $3 million-per-year contract with Nike that runs through 2019.

Photo credit: Getty

Lionel Messi Net Worth: $280 Million

Second only to Cristiano Ronaldo on Forbes’ list of 2016’s highest-paid athletes, Lionel Messi earned $81.4 million in 2016. He raked in $53.4 million in salary — along with the many bonuses his contract affords him — and a staggering $28 million from endorsement deals, which include his own line of Adidas shoes and other merchandise. Lionel Messi has a net worth of $280 million.

Photo credit: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo Net Worth: $320 Million

In 2016, Forbes crowned Cristiano Ronaldo with the title of the world’s highest-paid athlete. He pulled in $88 million overall, with $56 million in earnings and $32 million in endorsement contracts. That’s a step up from 2015, when the three-time FIFA best player in the world — who’s scored 50 goals for six straight seasons — ranked No. 3 on Forbes’ list.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s net worth is $320 million. Forbes put his contract earnings with Real Madrid at $50 million per year. His endorsements include Nike, Tag Heuer, Monster headphones and his own line of underwear, shirts, shoes and fragrance. In 2009, he became the most expensive player in the history of soccer when Real Madrid paid Manchester United a $132 million transfer fee to acquire him.

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David Beckham Net Worth: $450 Million

Retired soccer legend David Beckham is a brand of his own. In fact, the only retired athlete in the world to rake in more than Beckham’s $65 million in 2015 was Michael Jordan. Beckham has a five-year deal with British fashion company Kent & Curwen and a more than $5 million-per-year contract with a Chinese real estate firm. He is also working to secure a Miami-based MLS team, which is set to begin playing in 2018.

David Beckham rose to international stardom as one of soccer’s highest-earning players through a career that included stints on two of the sport’s most storied teams — Manchester United and Real Madrid. But Beckham’s most lucrative year ever was 2014 — the year after he retired — when he earned a whopping $75 million. David Beckham’s net worth is $450 million.

Photo credit: AP


"This is an incredibly exciting and important deal for the club," Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia told the club website (

"We believe Nike will be able to support our growth into new markets as well as helping us maintain our place among the world's elite football clubs."

Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, won the Premier League title in 2014-15 but a poor run of form last season meant they failed to qualify for European football.

They are currently seventh in the standings after seven games.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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