Chelsea FC have signed their “largest ever commercial deal” that will allow Yokohama Rubber branding to appear on their kits from the start of the 2015-16 season.
The Blues announced on Thursday a five-year kit sponsorship deal reportedly worth £40m ($61m) per season with one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers.
It eclipses the previous £18m ($27m)-per-year deal with South Korean electronic company Samsung- their current kit sponsor- and could place the Stamford Bridge club second after Manchester United’s £53m ($81m)-a-year deal with Chevrolet.
The deal was done on Thursday by representatives of both parties; Yokohama chairman Tadanobu Nagumo and Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, with manager Jose Mourinho and captain John Terry also in attendance.
Blues chief Buck said: “Chelsea and Yokohama are a perfect fit. Both are global organisations with a focus on performance and innovation, as well as having huge ambition and an unwavering culture of success. We believe that Yokohama will play a key role in helping us drive our global expansion in international markets, such as the United States, where they have operated with distinction for many years.
He added: “Also, of course, Chelsea having such an esteemed and historic Japanese company as our partner enables us to accelerate our development in their home market too. We are also looking forward to working with Yokohama on our community projects around the world through the Chelsea Foundation, when together we can use the power of sport as a force for good.”
Yokahama boss Nagumo said: “This shirt partnership with Chelsea will give Yokohama an opportunity to showcase our company to a huge worldwide audience thanks to Chelsea’s ever-growing popularity.”