FOOTBALL Federation Australia has announced a new nine-year deal with Nike, saying it is "by far the biggest sponsorship agreement signed for football in Australia and is Nike's biggest ever commitment to any sport in Australia".
Neither Nike nor FFA would detail the dollar amounts of the agreement, saying only that it represented "a significant increase in the value of the previous agreement".
Nike said the deal was significantly bigger on a year-on-year basis than anything else it had signed in Australia.
Nike’s previous biggest deal in Australia was its agreement with the Australian Olympic Committee to provide equipment and apparel for the teams to the 2000 and 2004 Games in Sydney and Athens.
The football sponsorship deal covers the 2010 and 2014 World Cup campaigns, the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Asian Cup campaigns and the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup campaigns.
The terms of the agreement sees Nike provide apparel for all Australia sides run under the FFA banner – the Socceroos, the Matildas (women), the Olyroos (under-23) and the Joeys (under-17) – as well as providing boots to a number of unnamed players.
FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said that the size and length of the partnership provided a clear indication of the level of corporate support for football in Australia.
"Nike was the first company to take the leap of faith with the game when New Football was launched, and I’m delighted that we will now be able to further develop what has already been an extremely successful partnership," Buckley said.
"The national team jersey created by Nike for the World Cup has already become a symbol of international sporting success for all Australians.
"It’s no wonder so many tens of thousands of Australians now own one.
"Off the back of the World Cup and with the Asian Cup just around the corner it is an exciting time to be associated with football.
"This commitment from such a prestigious international sports brand is a terrific endorsement for the game in Australia.
"Like many of our other partners, Nike has played a very active role in promoting football and this new deal will see it invest even more heavily in promotion of the sport."
Nike Pacific managing director Paul Zadoff said "Nike was excited about the potential of football in Australia, and the success of the game over the past two years has surpassed our expectations".
"Not only at the highest level of the game with both the Socceroos and Matildas success, but also the increasing popularity of the Hyundai A-League and the growing levels of participation in the sport at grass roots," Zadoff said.
"Nike’s significant nine-year commitment to the game and our ongoing relationship with the FFA and the national teams will only strengthen our leadership in the world’s most popular game, particularly going into the Asian Cup next year."
Nike currently sponsors 32 clubs globally, 18 national teams including Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Portugal, and many of the great players.
The nine-year deal compares favourably with Nike’s unprecedented 15-year contract signed recently to sponsor Brazil.
But the figures involved are nowhere near as lucrative as the $183.4 million Nike reportedly paid for the privilege of kitting out Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and company.
Nike has confirmed it would only update the Socceroos’ shirt design every two years.
It is expected a new Socceroos jersey will be unveiled in 2008, and every two years beyond that.