Chelsea are finally close to announcing a new shirt sponsorship deal worth around £40million per year, according to reports. The Blues have started the Premier League campaign with plain shirts after failing to find a new sponsor, with Three’s deal having expired at the end of last season.
Chelsea were reportedly close to partnering with gambling company Stake earlier this summer before walking away from a deal following a backlash from supporters. They also saw a deal with Paramount blocked by the Premier League but have since reached a lucrative agreement with sports technology startup Infinite Athlete, according to the Daily Star.
The report states that a rolling yearly contract was agreed earlier this year but Chelsea will need to wait for Premier League approval before they can make an official announcement. A ‘thorough investigation’ is said to have been conducted into the history and finances of Infinite Athlete, the parent company of fellow Chelsea partner Tempus Ex.
The remainder of the process is not expected to take long, though, and there is optimism that the deal could be made official within the next few days. Chelsea hinted at the upcoming partnership during Friday’s win over Luton Town by displaying Infinite Athlete’s logo on the pitchside advertising boards at Stamford Bridge.
Infinite Athlete, an American sports technology and data firm, have big plans to move into the world of football after establishing themselves in the NFL. They were founded earlier this year and describe themselves as a company striving to make sport a better environment for multiple stakeholders.
Their website states: “Born out of the idea that the world can do better in all aspects of sports and live events – the fan, the game, and the athlete experience – Infinite Athlete’s goal is to create a single technological foundation across all major sports, upon which innovative sports technology and media products can be built.”
Chelsea’s deal with Infinite Athlete will bring a welcome financial boost, given the money the Blues have spent on player recruitment over the last two years. It is equally as valuable as Arsenal’s long-running deal with Emirates, which is also worth £40m per season, according to The Athletic.
However, it pales in comparison to Manchester United’s deal with software firm Teamviewer and Liverpool’s agreement with banking giant Standard Chartered. Both clubs are said to receive close to £50m per season, while Manchester City’s deal with Etihad is thought to be worth upwards of £67m each year.