Reports have suggested that FC Barcelona is set to end its longstanding partnership with Nike and establish its own brand.

According to SPORT, the Spanish footballing giant may opt to produce its own kits should it choose to terminate its partnership with Nike, which has lasted over 20 years, with a decision anticipated to be made in the coming days.

The partnership between the two organisations, initiated in 1998, has been reviewed several times, with the recent contract set to expire in June 2028. Recently, Barcelona’s dissatisfaction with Nike has been evident for several months, prompting the club to explore alternatives.

Puma has been among one of the brands most interested in replacing Nike, proposing a deal worth slightly over €100m per season, which is an increase on the €85m annually received from Nike.

However, the La Liga club has announced it is exploring an alternative option, as Club President Joan Laporta said it could create its own brand, during an interview with RAC1 a few weeks ago

Barcelona intends to make this a reality through BLM, which currently handles all non-sports apparel for the club, along with other Barça-branded merchandise. Additionally, it plans to collaborate with a major multinational corporation to handle the manufacturing and distribution of the shirts.

The club believes that having its own brand would generate significantly more revenue. While it would need to cover production and distribution costs, the proceeds from sales would be crucial for the club, transforming the shirt into a new revenue stream.

However, there is another reason that the club is exploring this option. 

Should the club decide to terminate the contract with Nike, which seems increasingly likely, Barcelona’s intention is to part ways amicably, as failing to do so could pose a significant problem for the club, which may lead to Nike pursuing legal action against the club for breach of contract.

As a potential advantage in winning that legal battle, Barcelona would not be swapping Nike for another brand and instead, the club would focus on promoting its own brand, aiming to please Nike. 

If this concept is pursued, it would make 2024 a year to forget for Nike. In the current year, Nike has terminated numerous contracts, including one of its most renowned partnerships with American golfer Tiger Woods, a collaboration that spanned 27 years.

Furthermore, the sports brand was replaced by Adidas as the ball sponsor for the Saudi Pro League midway through the 2023/34 season. Most recently, Nike was replaced by Puma by RB Leipzig, a relationship that spanned over a decade.

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