Chelsea signs five-year, $300-million Yokohama jersey sponsorship deal

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Say goodbye to Samsung, say hello to Yokohama, Chelsea fans, because the next jersey you buy will have a brand new sponsor’s logo across the chest.

The club announced on Thursday a five-year jersey sponsorship deal with Japanese tire manufacturer Yokohama, which will begin with the 2015-16 season and pay the club more than $300 million ($61 million per season).

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The partnership, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck says, is also intended to help strengthen the club’s visibility and popularity in the United States. “We believe that Yokohama will play a key role in helping us drive our global expansion in international markets such as the U.S.”

Despite the $60-plus-million figure, Chelsea’s deal pales in comparison to Manchester United’s seven-year, $559-million deal with Chevrolet, which began this season.

In this age of Financial Fair Play, landing a jersey sponsorship this big is a massive coup for Chelsea, who now have roughly $30 million per year more available to spend in the transfer market, than they do under their current deal with Samsung. Because Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar, Willian and Juan Cuadrado isn’t a formidable enough frontline already.