Reuters is reporting that Arsenal have penned a $247.5M (£150M) deal with Puma to become the new kit supplier for the club over the next five years.
Arsenal’s deal with the German sportswear company on Monday signifies an end to the Gunners 20+ year devotion to Nike.
While specific financial details were not disclosed Puma admitted the deal was the biggest ever for both itself and Arsenal, and that the German manufacturer will also produce other branded Arsenal merchandise. In 2012, Arsenal signed a contract renewal with Emirates airlines for shirt and stadium sponsorship worth approximately $250M (£150M) over five years.
The agreement represents a massive coup for Puma, whose new CEO Bjoern Gulden, a former professional soccer player and Adidas AG executive, is attempting to re-establish the label as a core sports brand after spending the last decade diverging its line into lifestyle and fashion. Arsenal is the latest sports entity to pen a deal with Puma following Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, golfer Rickie Fowler and several soccer players, including Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud.
Since his hiring last year, Gulden has spent streamlined Puma’s business by cutting costs, rationalizing retail outlets and reducing infrastructure. The major reorganization process has already cost the company $246M in 2012 and $178M through the third quarter of 2013.
“Now we will focus on performance and we will use our assets from performance [sports] in lifestyle advertising,” Gulden told The Wall Street Journal Monday. “It is more about using the asset base rather than adding to it.”
Arsenal’s new uniform will be unveiled next summer and a full range of Puma’s new product lines will go on sale starting next year.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.