Puma set to replace Nike as Arsenal sponsor

Puma is on the verge of agreeing what is thought to be a £30m-a-year deal with Premier League team Arsenal to replace rival Nike as its kit manufacturer in a bid to bolster its football credentials in Europe.

A deal with Arsenal could see Puma benefit from the global reach of the Premier League.

The five year deal, which would come into effect from the end of 2013/14 season, surpasses the £25m-a-year tie-up Warrior Sports have with Liverpool FC to become the most lucrative in British football.

It would see the end of Nike’s 20 year association with the London-based club after months of speculation that Adidas were close to agreeing a deal. Nike and Arsenal had explored an extension of the deal but it is thought the sportswear brand was unable to meet the club’s revised demands.

A spokeswoman for Puma declined to confirm details but did not deny a deal had been agreed. A spokesman for Arsenal said: “We do not comment on specualtion of this sort. However as previously stated we wre confident of agreeing a significant kit deal.”

The club has earmarked 2014 as the start of a period where there commercial revenues would grow sharply after renegotiating deals with a number of existing sponsors including stadium sponsor Emirates.

Puma is looking to drive sales of its football products in Europe after focusing much of its activity around the sport in Africa, where it sponsors 10 teams as well as Cameroon and former Barcelona FC striker Samuel Eto’o. The business is looking to address a sustained period of under performance in western markets as it struggles to steal share from bigger rivals Nike and Adidas while also warding off the advances of US companies Warrior Sports and Under Armour.

A deal with Arsenal could see the Puma brand benefit from the Premier League’s global reach and should the club qualify for it next season the UEFA Champions League.

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