Tensions with Nike prompt Barcelona to explore alternatives

Photo Credit: Footy Headlines
Photo Credit: Footy Headlines

Barcelona is close to deciding on their shirt supplier.

FC Barcelona is assessing all scenarios to make the best decision regarding which brand will manufacture its jersey for the upcoming season. The Blaugrana club has a contract with Nike until 2028, but relations with the American firm are tense for various reasons. Among them, there are issues with jersey supply, ‘bonus-malus’ clauses that penalize the club’s revenue, lower payments from Nike compared to offers from other companies like Puma or New Balance to Barça, and the American brand’s restriction on Barça selling its technical products outside Spain through e-commerce (online sales).

According to Roger Torello of Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona has considered three options, and the time to make a decision is approaching due to timing constraints: the club needs to start producing next season’s kits. These three options are: continuing with Nike under better conditions, signing with another brand offering more money and better terms, or producing kits under its own brand and directly distributing and selling them. The second and third options involve breaking ties with Nike and potentially entering into legal disputes. Barcelona hasn’t ruled this out, and what they are carefully analyzing is the pros and cons of such a breakup.

On one hand, it would involve paying a sum to compensate Nike; on the other hand, it would give Barcelona the freedom to seek another technical sponsor or become a producer of its own brand. There are influential voices within the club’s management advocating for severing ties with Nike and creating their own brand. Indeed, this option has been thoroughly examined, with negotiations held with firms capable of manufacturing garments for Barça due to the net profit it could generate.

Another sector of the board prefers to stick with Nike, provided the American company offers more money and greater freedom for Barcelona to sell kits. Alternatively, they suggest going with a traditional brand like Puma, which might offer more money and relieve the club of manufacturing and distributing garments. In any case, the decision must be made within two weeks at most and it should be ratified by the board, especially if breaking ties with Nike are chosen.