Just a week after the ball starts to roll in the renewed LaLiga EaSports, there is already an important match that has been played. The one that confronts the brands for dressing the great Spanish football clubs. As usual at this point, the 42 teams that make up the First and Second Division have already presented the shirts that their players will wear this season. A commercial battle, which Adidas and Nike have once again led, betting on maintaining their main sponsorships.
This dispute between retail firms to close new contracts with the clubs is played months, and even years in advance, and depending on the agreement, the commercial relationship between the company and the entity can be renewed year after year or extended in the long term, as is the case of FC Barcelona and Nike, who extended their historic relationship for twelve more years in 2016. That is why in this campaign we will not have a ‘dance’ of brands in the First Division, where only Athletic sheds its skin, and bets on the British Castore, leaving a New Balance off the map.
In a commercially appeased season, Adidas and Nike maintain their duopoly, increasingly challenged by other firms such as Puma or the aforementioned Castore, who seek to get a bigger piece of the pie. Contracts that exceed 50 million annually, plus 100 generated by sales, the German and the American maintain their respective relationships with Real Madrid and Barça, which place them at the forefront of investment in sports equipment in Spain.
The three bands repeat throne
In addition to showing off at the Santiago Bernabéu, the German firm maintains up to eight more teams in the payroll between the two categories, which once again sit on the throne that it had seized from its American rival in previous seasons thanks to a battery of strategic agreements long-term with entities such as RC Celta, CA Osasuna or Granada CF, for contracts paid from 2 million a year in the case of the Nasrid team, to approximately 7.4 million in the case of the Vigo team.
Different is the situation of Nike. After several seasons with less presence on the shirts than usual, the Oregon giant teamed up with Futbol Emotion in search of recovering market share in LaLiga. However, this tandem will only be visible in the First Division in the RCD Mallorca jersey and in the Second Division, in the elastics of SD Amorebieta, Elche CF and FC Andorra. The multinational’s roadmap involves withdrawing to strengthen its strategic assets, such as Barça or Atlético de Madrid, whose collaboration is around 10 million a year.
The duopoly, lurking
It is precisely this rudder change that has allowed other brands to regain their presence in the competition. This is the case of firms such as Puma or Castore, which already equal Nike in teams represented in the highest category. The first, has settled in the competition after ‘stealing’ the ball from the North American and becoming the main technical partner of La Liga. In its strategy to remain in the elite of Spanish football, the German group retains in its portfolio the clubs Deportivo Alavés, Girona FC and Valencia CF.
For its part, the Manchester-based start-up company is consolidating its entry into Spain this year, which it undertook last year with Sevilla FC and UD Almería, with a new agreement that will provide the arcades of the Bilbao club with around 4.5 million annually. The rest of the first class contracts are divided between four brands. Joma protects its already historic agreements with Getafe CF and Villarreal CF; Macron does the same with Real Sociedad SAD and Cádiz CF; Hummel maintains his recent collaboration with Real Betis Balompié and UD Las Palmas and raises his stake in the Second Division, and Umbro repeats with Rayo Vallecano, the last to present his new jersey.