MANCHESTER CITY are close to completing a new kit deal worth £40million.
The mega money tie-up with sportswear giants Puma will cover the next four years.
It is largely incentive-based on the Eastlands side reaching the Champions League and is an indication of City’s marketing potential under new owner Sheikh Mansour.
The current deal with Le Coq Sportif is up at the end of the season but City want the new sponsors tied up by Christmas.
Club Executive Chairman Garry Cook is already exploring new areas to promote City’s brand and persuade Puma it is the right deal.
It really wouldn't be a surprise to see us switch to a bigger name - and more lucrative deal of course with the le coq sportif deal expiring at the end of the season (and maybe why le coq sportif got three kits into the market this season as a sort of 'pay off'), but I thought Nike would have been the more logical fit given the links to Garry Cook and the Brazilian's we now have in the ranks.
I also imagine that we will be securing a bigger deal for shirt sponsor as well, given that the Thomas Cook deal also runs out this season and Cook has been critical of British sports merchandising before, labelling it '10 years behind the US'.
This article from The Independent in August suggests the deal with Thomas Cook is only for £1 million a season, and there have been stories ever since Thaksin took over that we would be lining up a big sponsorship deal, and with the increased profile you would imagine we should be able to dwarf the current figure.
One of the principal reasons Garry Cook was brought into the club by Thaksin was his reputation as a real 'brand' guy with Nike, and it does seem that one of his remits was to secure far better and more lucrative tie-ups with regards to the kit.
Ambitions of the top four on the pitch then, and the next six months should begin to see the first steps under the regime to match those sides off it as well.