[SOCCER BUSINESS] Puma will replace Nike as Arsenal's jersey sponsor, beginning on July 1, in the biggest deal in the history of both Puma and Arsenal, reported to approach $50 million a year.
The five-year deal gives Puma wide-ranging licensing rights to develop Arsenal-branded merchandise on a global basis in addition to producing the playing and training uniforms for all Arsenal teams.
Nike had been the Arsenal uniform supplier for 20 years. The Gunners were one of the first major clubs to wear Nike as it moved into European soccer in a big way in the 1990s.
Now, Puma looks to reposition itself as a major soccer player alongside adidas and Nike.
"Arsenal has 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. As we enter a new era in our company history, Arsenal represents a major commercial and marketing opportunity to reinforce Puma's credibility as a global sports brand, and we have full confidence that the plans in place to activate this partnership will have a significant global impact."