Nike kit deal with Barca could block women’s team entry into NWSL in US

May 9 – Barcelona, who have plans to enter a professional team in the US National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), have hit a stumbling block over their kit supply deal with Nike.

The Nike deal with Barcelona is worth $174 million annually and runs until 2023 and covers both the men’s and women’s teams.

The NWSL also has a league wide kit deal with Nike (the MLS has a league wide deal with Adidas) that runs out in 2019 and could see the league switch partners.

Barcelona are committed to Nike and say they would likely be unable to play in another suppliers’ kit, saying that they are protective of their brand, colours, logo and sponsors. Changing to a new supplier away from Nike could present them with a problem.

Barcelona have asked for a sponsorship exemption regarding the kit deal.

The 2019 NWSL season is currently underway with clubs in the nine team league having played between three and five matches and the Utah Royals leading the table unbeaten after three games.

Barcelona women, unlike their men’s team, have made it through to the Champions League final and will face Lyon. In Spain they finished second in their league.

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