Nike et Manchester United, clap de fin.

« Manchester United est un grand club avec des fans passionnés. Nous sommes fiers d’avoir été leur partenaire durant ces 12 dernières saisons et nous continuerons d’être aux côtés du club jusqu’à la fin de la saison 2014/15. Chaque partenariat, que ce soit avec un club ou une fédération, se doit d’être bénéfique pour les deux parties mais les offres et conditions pour un nouveau contrat ne convenaient pas aux actionnaires de Nike. Nous espérons que cette dernière saison sera des plus belles avec le club. » Telle est la déclaration d’un représentant de la marque Nike aujourd’hui au sujet des discussions avec Manchester United.

En cours depuis plusieurs mois, il semblerait donc que Manchester United et Nike n’aient pas trouvé d’accord pour le prochain cycle. Actuellement équipementier des Red Devils pour une somme avoisinant les 40 millions de dollars (30 millions d’euros), Nike, qui vient tout juste de lancer le nouveau maillot domicile de Manchester United, a donc décidé de mettre fin aux discussions avec le club détenu par la famille Glazer qui a fait augmenter les enchères à plusieurs reprises lors de la période de négociations réservée à la marque de Beaverton.

Avec l’annonce du contrat entre PUMA et Arsenal, qui est depuis le 1er juillet le contrat le plus cher de la Premier League, le club de Manchester United au palmarès plus rayonnant que celui du club du nord de Londres, s’est donc mis en tête de réévaluer à la hausse son contrat équipementier. Les premières discussions avec Nike tournaient aux alentours d’un deal à 60/65 millions d’euros, qui semblait convenir à tout le monde. Mais revirement de situation de la part du Directoire de Manchester United qui a demandé 100 millions de dollars pour 10 ans, une somme considérée trop élevée pour Nike, qui a donc décidé de mettre fin à la course aux enchères.

Qui serait prêt à payer 100 millions de dollars pour un club de football ? Dans cette lutte acharnée que se livrent adidas et Nike, il était normal de voir adidas au premier rang de ces négociations et les rumeurs semblent confirmer adidas comme nouvel équipementier du club la saison prochaine. Bien évidemment la marque d’Herzegenorauch a refusé de commenter sur cette nouvelle, sans doute trop presser à fêter la bonne nouvelle.

Depuis plusieurs mois, on remarque un changement de direction dans la stratégie de marketing sportif de Nike dans le football. Fini les « anciens », place à la « nouvelle garde ». Finis les Arsenal, Juventus de Turin et Manchester United, place aux nouveaux rois, les Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain et AS Roma. Stratégie payante ? Seul l’avenir le dira.

En tout cas, une chose est sure, Nike Football se porte bien puisque dans le dernier rapport annuel de Nike, le football augmentait de 23%, représentant maintenant 2.3 milliards de dollars de revenus. Pari gagnant pour Nike ?

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