Chelsea FC partner with rubber company in ‘largest-ever’ £200 million shirt sponsorship deal
Chelsea FC have announced that The Yokohama Rubber Company Ltd will be the club’s Official Shirt Partner in what is their largest-ever commercial deal.
The new five year deal which begins at the start of the 2015/16 season is thought to be worth £200 million.
The partnership with one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers will see the Yokohama brand appearing on the club’s shirts from the first team to youth teams.
The agreement was formally concluded earlier this week by chairman of Yokohama, Mr Tadanobu Nagumo and CEO Mr Hideto Katsuragawa.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: “It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Yokohama as our new Official Shirt Partner and we look forward to a successful relationship with them.
“Chelsea and Yokohama are a perfect fit. Both are global organisations with a focus on performance and innovation, as well as having huge ambition and an unwavering culture of success.
“We believe that Yokohama will play a key role in helping us drive our global expansion in international markets such as the US, where they have operated with distinction for many years.
“Also, of course, Chelsea having such an esteemed and historic Japanese company as our partner enables us to accelerate our development in their home market too.
“We are also looking forward to working with Yokohama on our community projects around the world through the Chelsea Foundation, when together we can use the power of sport as a force for good.”
Yokohama take over from South Korean electronics giant, Samsung.
Mr Nagumo, Chairman and CEO of The Yokohama Rubber Company Ltd, said: “This shirt partnership with Chelsea will give Yokohama an opportunity to showcase our company to a huge worldwide audience thanks to Chelsea’s ever-growing popularity.
“We see our partnership with Chelsea as an integral part of our global expansion plans as we enter Phase IV* of our Grand Design 100 plan. We look forward to launching our iconic new Chelsea Yokohama shirt this summer.’
The agreement, the first major commercial deal signed under Christian Purslow, the club’s Head of Global Operations who joined from Liverpool in 2014, underpins Chelsea’s strategy to be one of Europe’s leading football clubs with a self-financing model which is fully compliant with the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules.
Research from Repucom suggested that the value of Premier League shirt sponsorship deals had risen 36% in 2013/14, with foriegn investment fuelling that growth.
Chelsea’s announcement with the Japanese tyre manufacturer places them behind Manchester United (Chevrolet) as the two most valuable shirt sponsorship deals in the Premier League.
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