United agree huge adidas deal
Manchester United have agreed a mammoth £750million sponsorship deal with adidas.
The German sportswear giant has stepped in after Nike pulled out of negotiations over a new deal last week because it felt United were demanding too much money.
The adidas agreement, described in a statement as "a global technical sponsorship and dual branded licensing deal", will run for 10 years from the 2015-16 season.
The deal with Nike, United's kit manufacturer since 2002, runs out at the end of the forthcoming season.
United believe it is the biggest kit deal in sport, surpassing the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as major American sports, which tend to sign league-wide deals covering all teams.
A United statement read: "Manchester United plc has reached a 10-year agreement with adidas for a global technical sponsorship and dual branded licensing deal for a minimum guarantee of £750million, subject to certain adjustments, beginning with the 2015/2016 campaign.
"For the 2014/2015 season, Nike will continue in its role of technical sponsor and trademark licensee."
The deal is more than twice as big as the Nike agreement signed in 2002, which was worth £303million with extra income from a profit share agreement from merchandise sold worldwide.
In a statement last week, the sportswear giant said: ''Manchester United is a great club with passionate fans.
''We are proud to have partnered with them for the last 12 years and will continue to sponsor the club until the end of the 2014/15 season.
''Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial and the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike's shareholders.
''We look forward to a successful final season with the club.''
This season also sees the beginning of US car giant Chevrolet's kit sponsorship deal with United, which is worth a reported £53million per season.
Meanwhile, after leading his native country to third place at the World Cup at the weekend, new United manager Louis van Gaal will have just two days off before beginning his job at United later this week.
The 62-year-old will spend time with his new players at United's Carrington training ground before flying to the USA for the club's pre-season tour.
Van Gaal said on manutd.com: "That is no problem for me, I don't need a holiday.
"It's great to have such an exciting challenge. To work daily with young people is something that I don't need time off to rest for.
"I'm looking forward to it. I've only met two people from the daily management at the club - the chief scout and the chief executive officer. And I've met two of the owners.
"It's time that I get to know more people at the club."
Holland saw their World Cup hopes ended in the semi-finals with a penalty shoot-out defeat by Argentina but went out on a high note in the third-place play-off as they beat Brazil 3-0.
Van Gaal will adopt the same approach at United, saying: "I hope the group in Manchester will become like this (Holland) one.
"We have to sing from the same hymn sheet. I hope at Manchester United I can do my best. I will do my best.
"Whether that's enough for the fans I will wait and see, but I genuinely hope that will be the case."
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.