Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nike signs largest Australian football sponsorship

The corporate commitment to football in Australia reached a new high today when Football Federation Australia announced its biggest ever sponsorship agreement with Nike. The two companies revealed that they had renewed their successful partnership and had entered into a nine-year agreement that will see Nike continue to be the official Performance Partner of the FFA and its national teams. It is by far the biggest sponsorship agreement signed for football in Australia and is Nike’s biggest ever commitment to any sport in Australia. The sponsorship, which represents a significant increase in the value of the previous agreement, covers the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, 2007, 2011 and 2015 AFC Asian Cups and the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cups.

Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley said that the size and length of the partnership was a clear indicator of the level of support there is for football in the corporate sector. “Nike was the first company to take the leap of faith with the game when ‘New Football’ was launched and I’m delighted that we will now be able to further develop what has already been an extremely successful partnership. The national team jersey created by Nike for the World Cup has already become a symbol of international sporting success for all Australians. It’s no wonder so many tens of thousands of Australians now own one,” he said.

Nike Pacific MD Paul Zadoff said: “In 2004 Nike was excited about the potential of football in Australia and the success of the game over the past two years has surpassed our expectations - not only at the highest level of the game with both the Socceroos and Matildas success, but also the increasing popularity of the Hyundai A-League and the growing levels of participation in the sport at grassroots. Nike’s significant nine-year commitment to the game and our ongoing relationship with the FFA and the national teams will only strengthen our leadership in the world’s most popular game, particularly going into the Asian Cup next year.”

UPDATE

According to Ray Gatt in The Australian, the Nike contract with the FFA is up to three times more than the previous deal which had been struck in 2004, A spokesperson for Nike told him it was "significantly" better than anything any other sporting organisation in Australia had received from the company, including the AOC. "On a year-by-year basis, the deal outstrips our previous contracts with the AOC for the 2000 and 2004 Olympics," the spokesperson said. "In terms of the length of the contract, nothing like that has been done here, though there are deals with Manchester United and the Brazilian national team that have been over longer periods."

Under the terms of the Australian deal, which includes all gear, equipment and marketing expertise, the Socceroos, the Matildas, the Young Socceroos (U-20) and Joeys (U-17) will be sponsored through until the end of 2015. It is expected a new Socceroos jersey will be unveiled in 2008, and every two years after that. Nike is also the boot sponsor of several Socceroos, including Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton, Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan.

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