Nike, it has been widely reported, will continue as the manufacturer of the kits worn by Manchester United after clinching an new deal worth £600 million over its duration. However, according to The Independent, the sportswear giant may still be gazumped by Umbro.
Manchester United and Nike have a partnership dating back 13 years but their current contract is set to expire next year. But it appeared Nike were set to continue their affiliation with the club after agreeing a decade-long deal at £60 million-per-year.
But it is now claimed that Umbro remain in the reckoning to wrest the contract from the grasp of Nike, having grown significantly in strength and stature since they were sold by the American company 15 months ago.
Umbro are now owned by Iconix Brand Group, who license 30 brands including Jay-Z’s Rocawear, and Manchester United are reported to have met with representatives a number of times, with the latest as recent as two weeks ago.
Manchester United and Umbro have an even more illustrious association than Nike do with the Old Trafford club, with the Red Devils having worn kits provided by the brand for a 40-year period.
The next contract will be awarded by Manchester United from the end of next season, and they club could reportedly get in excess of £70 million-a-season - the most lucrative deal of its kind in the sport.