The day after Manchester United announced the team's new Nike kits for the 2014-15 campaign, Nike publicly confirmed that its 13-year relationship with the team will end when the current contract expires at the end of the season.
Nike decided not to renew its deal with the club because it did not want to pay too hefty a fee to retain rights. The current contract that runs through the end of next season is worth a minimum of 23.3 million pounds a year to United. According to Bloomberg, Man U wanted to increase that to more than 60 million pounds.
The previous agreement gave Nike the ability to match another offer before Manchester United could sign another contract, but Nike declined. According to The Mirror, this will give rival Adidas the opportunity to make a "lucrative deal" with the club.
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"Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial," Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike said in an e-mailed statement. "The terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike’s shareholders."
United finished this past season in seventh, just one year removed from a Premier League title. The club will be managed by Louis van Gaal after the World Cup, where he is currently managing the Dutch national team.
- Sarah Barshop