The winds of change could be whistling down the seats at the Camp Nou as FC Barcelona explores various options to replace its decades-old kit supplier partnership with Nike.
This was first reported by Spanish media outlet Sport, which added that Puma and New Balance are keen to try and swoosh in a potential kit deal under the noses of Nike executives.
Still, the Barça-Nike partnership is not one to be underestimated, as both brands joined forces for the first time back in 1998 to create one of the longest-running sports deals in history.
Their current contract was signed in 2016 and has since been fueling the club with €155m per season. But while the deal was considered record-breaking at the time, Barça and Nike still found themselves disagreeing with each other on multiple occasions, leading to the club’s weighing of a potential new partner ahead of the Nike contract’s end in 2028 if negotiations with the Oregon-based brand fall through.
If New Balance succeeds in becoming FC Barcelona’s new kit manufacturer, this will most certainly be the biggest football deal in the firm’s history – despite its current commitment to other football teams like Porto and Lille, having also previously sponsored Liverpool FC.
Barça will look to walk away with the best deal possible and gain more on top of what it’s already earning from Nike, as the club is currently dealing with a significant debt of €1.2bn, plus the additional costs of €1.5bn to the ongoing rebuild of the Camp Nou stadium.
There are also ongoing legal troubles for the Spanish side, with several FC Barcelona Presidents being put under investigation over the alleged bribery of Spain’s refereeing committee.