Manchester City is the first Premier League club to announce an Official Sleeve Sponsor deal after signing an agreement with South Korea tire giant Nexen Tire for the 2017-18 season.
It was back in November when Premier League clubs were given the green light to sell sleeve space to sponsors for the 2017-2018 season. After dropping Barclays as its title sponsor, the Premier League gave clubs permission to have two sponsors on the shirt for the next season – the main sponsor on the front of the kit, a second one on the sleeve.
Manchester City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano was pleased to announce the expansion of the Club’s relationship with Nexen:
“We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Nexen Tire,” he said.
“At Manchester City, we are always striving to take an original approach to our commercial partnerships, creating great relationships and great content for our fans.
“We are especially pleased to be the first Premier League Club to secure an Official Sleeve Partner.
“Nexen is an exciting and growing brand and we are extremely happy both to have extended and grown our relationship.”
We are delighted to have agreed the #PL's first Official Sleeve Partnership with Nexen Tire!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 17, 2017
Although financial details were not disclosed, it is believed the sleeve space is valued at around 20 percent of the main shirt deal. The new sponsor logos will appear on the right sleeve of the new kits, replacing one of the currently two league sleeve patches.
It is not surprising that Manchester City would be first club to make such an announcement, given that both the club and main sponsor Etihad are owned by the Abu Dhabi royal family. It alleviates any concerns about having another brand on the jerseys.
For the other clubs, there may be issues with exclusivity prohibiting them from adding an additional sponsor or concern about a main sponsor reluctant to share the spotlight.
Advertising on kits is nothing new in the world of football, however the other four major sports in North America have been reluctant to follow this trend till last April, when the NBA approved the sale of jersey sponsorships beginning with the 2017-18 season as part of a three-year pilot program. The sponsorship patch will appear on the front left of the game jerseys opposite the Nike logo.
The NFL, MLB and NHL are not considering following the NBA, for now.