On the back of their victory in the 1999 European Champions League, Manchester
United signed a record breaking £303,000,000 (440,000,000 EURS) sponsorship
deal with global sportswear giant Nike. However, the Old Trafford club have
failed to maintain this running fortune, finishing a distant third in this
year's Premiership. This deal, which had an initial term of 13 years, may now
be severed early unless the team can revive their winning ways.
Ian Todd, Nike's Vice President for sports marketing, was recently quoted
as saying "we will look very closely at this situation as we do with
all our sponsorship agreements" prompting speculation that the sportswear
manufacturer may terminate the deal. Nike may exercise a 3 year option break
in the sponsorship agreement.
This threatened withdrawal will increase unease at Manchester United, with
speculation already high over their future in response to Malcolm Glazer's
proposed takeover bid of the club. Nike are due to meet with Glazer next month
to discuss the future sponsorship strategy in greater detail, however angered
United fans have called for Nike products to be surrendered to charity as a
gesture of protest.
Watch this space to find out whether Nike give the Old Trafford club the boot………