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Volume 10 No. 22
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Sources: Adidas Now Clubhouse Leader In Bid To Sign Kit Deal With Manchester United

Sources said that adidas is "in pole position to clinch a world record kit deal" with ManU, as a deal worth $102M annually "has all but been agreed, even though current sponsors Nike retain the right to match any offer and extend a partnership" that dates back to '02, according to Lawton & Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Nike is "sure to question whether it is worth more than doubling" its original 10-year, $509M deal, which expires in June '15. ManU officials met adidas execs in Germany after the club's recent UEFA Champions League match against Bayern Munich, and senior adidas execs also "have been attending recent matches at Old Trafford." Negotiations with Nike "have been going on for the last three years." ManU Group Managing Dir Richard Arnold and Exec Vice Chair Ed Woodward know that they "need to sign off the next kit deal as soon as possible too, simply because the sheer demand for United merchandise means production needs to begin sooner rather than later." A deal with adidas "would still give United the freedom to create a separate fashion brand, with Japanese company Uniqlo thought to be close to completing" its own deal (DAILY MAIL, 5/7).