Chelsea will have the second-biggest shirt sponsorship deal in Premier League history after reaching an agreement with Japanese tyre manufacturers Yokohama Rubber.
The deal is thought to be worth around £40m a year for five years, representing a significant jump on their current £18m-a-year deal with Samsung.
Only Manchester United earn more from shirt sponsorship, receiving around £50m a year from US car manufacturer Chevrolet.
As with the recently announced 70 per cent rise in the Premier League’s TV rights deal to £5bn, shirt sponsorship deals have risen at a rapid rate, trumping those in Europe.
Premier League clubs made a collective £156m from shirt sponsorships this season (a 36 per cent rise on last year). In comparison, Europe’s second-highest total belonged to the German Bundesliga which made £102m.
Chelsea’s latest deal represents a 122 per cent rise, while Manchester United’s shirt sponsorship revenue rose 150 per cent when Chevrolet parked up.
As a foreign investor, Yokohama Rubber is typical of most new sponsorships in the Premier League and Europe. In England’s top tier, 75 per cent of shirt sponsorships come from abroad, accounting for £117m.
In its full-year results for 2014, Yokohama Rubber announced net income of ¥40.5bn (£220m) meaning this current deal is worth almost 20 per cent of its annual income.
Whether or not that represents good value remains to be seen, but it further demonstrates the allure of the Premier League brand around the world.
After announcing the deal Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck commented:
Chelsea and Yokohama Rubber are a perfect fit. Both are global organisations with a focus on performance and innovation, as well as having huge ambition and an unwavering culture of success.We believe that Yokohama will play a key role in helping us drive our global expansion in international markets, such as the United States, where they have operated with distinction for many years.Also, of course, Chelsea having such an esteemed historic Japanese company as our partner enables us to accelerate our development in their home market too.