Nike today finalized its 10-year deal with the national soccer team of Brazil, estimated at $200 million to $250 million, one of the biggest sports sponsorships in history. For the deal to take effect Jan. 1, Nike had to buy out the contract of the team's current apparel sponsor, Umbro. Nike, which wouldn't comment on cost, will try to recoup its investment in part by staging five events a year in foreign markets that would have the team competing against other national teams. The events will be the first from Nike Sports & Entertainment, the company's in-house global event marketing division. Nike will sell TV rights and sponsorships to the events and charge admission. Nike, not known for aligning itself with teams, leagues and federations, said such sponsorships are now necessary to build its apparel business, but reaffirmed that its primary allegiance is with individual athletes.
Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.