Nothing inflames the humors of football fans quite like shirt designs and manufacturers, and they're unquestionably big business for football clubs who are attempting to expand their brand into overseas markets. Today, the Daily Mail and other UK media outlets are reporting that Tottenham Hotspur is "in talks" with Nike to take over as their kit suppliers and designers beginning in the 2017-18 season in a deal worth £30m/year.
Tottenham are currently in the next to last year of a deal with USA sportswear giants UnderArmor that currently pays about £10m/year. Nike's offer, if these reports are accurate, would triple that revenue and put them behind only Manchester United's £75m/year deal with adidas, and level with Chelsea's current deal with adidas and Arsenal's new deal with Puma.
According to the Mail, Nike are desperate to secure a kit supplying deal with a London club. Their biggest deal at present is with Manchester City, but they're locked out of England's capital. Tottenham is a London team on the rise and are ready to renegotiate sponsorship and kit manufacturers before the new stadium opens in 2018. This makes Spurs especially attractive to Nike, which has incredibly deep pockets. We all know that Daniel Levy loves a good sponsorship deal, and he's wonderful at maximizing revenue – see the recent deals in past years that saw separate sponsorships for Premier League matches and European/domestic cup matches. You can almost see Levy steepling his fingers and muttering "eeeexcellent."
Now if only Nike's kit designs could match up to the amount of money they're offering. If the deal goes through, Nike is guaranteed to offer up at least one classic white home shirt during its tenure, but it's pretty hard to screw up an all-white shirt with a blue cockerel and a swoosh on the lapel. Unfortunately, based on more recent Nike football kit designs, we can probably look forward to a series of underwhelming and boring shirts straight out of the Nike catalog once the UnderArmor deal expires. Say what you want about UnderArmor and the sash kits this season, but at least they're not dull.