Newcastle United new owners switching to Adidas? Could depend on contract clause
It has been no surprise that the name Adidas has been mentioned a fair few times in recent days.
The eventual completion of the Newcastle United takeover has seen fans talking about endless possibilities that may now open up, with new ambitious owners at the helm.
Adidas has been a predictable brand to be brought up, considering that they are connected to not only arguably the best NUFC kits we have ever seen, but also the best era on the pitch that the vast majority of Newcastle supporters have ever witnessed in their lifetime.
Adidas actually had fifteen years with Newcastle United, from 1995-2010, before Mike Ashley switched to PUMA.
That continuing until this summer Castore replaced PUMA after their eleven years as kit manufacturer.
So the big question is, can we now expect a swift change from Castore to Adidas, or possibly another big hitter such as Nike. Or possibly the even bigger and more relevant question is, is it possible?
An industry specialist has given the matter some attention after the takeover, saying that it could revolve around one very important contract clause and whether or not it was included when Mike Ashley did his deal with Castore earlier this year.
Matthew Glendinning writing for Sport Business today (13 October 2021) saying about Castore’s position with Newcastle United now:
‘The key to the brand’s next move may depend on whether there is a ‘change of owner’ clause in their contract. Such clauses allow the relevant party to annul the contract should the other party change ownership.
For Newcastle, the kit deal is one of its biggest sponsorship agreements. Under the new ownership, with the financial means to upgrade the squad considerably, the deal could soon be worth many millions more than the reported £5m-per-season Castore is currently paying.
It’s unlikely Ashley did not factor this in when signing with Castore, and in doing so, it’s conceivable he could have inserted an appropriate buy-out clause in the event the new owners felt strongly about changing the kit supplier role.
On the other hand, the new owners – having examined each commercial contract as part of their due diligence – could simply have negotiated the club’s value down to account for the ‘sub-optimum’ rights fee when compared to the higher rate the club will surely command when the cash is splashed on new players.
Change of owner clauses also allow brands to step away from an association with a new owner that might not be in their interest.’
So, the big question is, does a ‘change of owner’ clause exist in Ashley’s contract with Castore?
If there is, then it would appear to be a possibility for either party to step away from that original / current deal.
Very difficult to imagine Castore voting with their feet if that was the case, as they have gone from a position where massive numbers of the fanbase refused to buy any official merchandise because of not wanting any possibility of more of their money going to the then NUFC owner, to a position now where the existing Newcastle United fanbase will in the vast majority of cases be only too happy to once again buy official stuff and hope / expect to see that money contribute to building better times ahead. Not to mention the fact that if Newcastle do become successful, just how many more supporters elsewhere they will attract.
If the new Newcastle United owners can step away from the Castore deal, as well as potentially the FUN88 shirt sponsor one, interesting to see what moves they may make and how quickly if they do so.
Of course, whilst zero financial outlay to change kit manufacturer would be the best possibility for the new NUFC owners if they did indeed want to make changes, if there is no new owner clause then they could also try to buy themselves out of the Castore deal as well, if that was the route they wanted to go down.
As with so many things to do with Newcastle United now, we look forward to see what positive moves the owners will make to influence things, on and off the pitch.
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