Although it’s not a done deal, English soccer club Manchester United are hoping Nike, their current uniform sponsor, will shell out £1 billion pounds. If signed, it could be the largest sponsorship deal in sports. The U.S. sports apparel giant, which took over from Umbro in August 2002, is set to renew talks in February 2013 with the club over the current contract, which ends in 2015 and was worth £303 million pounds, plus profit share on retail sales. United’s chief of staff, Ed Woodward, seeks a ‘major increase’ from Nike, which possesses “a six-month window of exclusive talks” with the club.
Along with Nike, other Manchester United big name sponsors are DHL, AON and Chevrolet, as well as smaller sponsorships from companies across the globe that pay for exposure through the global brand that is Manchester United. Any continued influx of large amounts of money is to be surely welcomed by the club’s owners, the Glazer family, to help pay down the publicly traded club’s debt, which is currently at £360 million pounds ($580 million dollars), as well as continuing to compete with the elite clubs in England and Europe.