Spanish soccer club Valencia is poised to finalize a milestone deal with Puma, renewing its contract with the manufacturer until at least 2029 and extending its relationship to a decade—making it the team’s longest-standing kit alliance in recent history.
Despite narrowly avoiding relegation last season and being some distance away from Champions League qualification, Valencia is set to earn more money from the new deal than the current 2019-2024 contract. Valencia’s marketing and commercial director, Jorge García, helped drive the fresh agreement.
The partnership won’t be the most lucrative nor long-lasting in La Liga. For example, giants Barcelona and Real Madrid’s work, with Adidas and Nike respectively, predates this century. Barcelona initially agreed its considerable earnings with Nike—supposedly up €155 million ($165 million) per year since 2018—back in 2016. Los Blancos rivaled those numbers in 2019, reportedly inking a total €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) deal running until 2028.
Still, the extension will be a revenue-booster for Valencia. Puma is not the most prominent supplier. Yet, it has ties with at least one high-profile club from each other top division: Manchester City in England’s Premier League, Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga, AC Milan in Italy’s Serie A, and Marseille in France’s Ligue 1.
Valencia also plans on opening a Puma megastore inside the proposed Nou Mestalla stadium, a project that has fallen by the wayside since construction started in 2007. Noise from the club suggests there are now enough funds to complete the job.
Conveniently, jersey sales may be on the upward curve; Valencia says it made €1.2 million ($1.3 million) net from official shirts in August, up from €1 million ($1.1 million) last year. The general trend in Spanish top-flight soccer is that upgraded stadiums can draw significant income in the long term, not only from more ticket sales but events and these sellable goods, too.
Puma has employed some innovative marketing strategies since joining forces with Valencia, such as transforming bus stops around the city into mini stadium dugouts from the present century-old Mestalla ground—amongst the grandest soccer venues in the country. During the Covid-19 crisis, it presented local health professionals with official jerseys and has done the same with children in hospitals.
A popular ploy when manufacturers design club kits, Puma has aimed to reflect the place’s imagery and history in recent shirt designs. So far, Puma’s Valencia jersey creations have incorporated details referring to the city street map, painter Joaquín Sorolla, Mediterranean-themed beach dunes, and oranges from the destination’s central market.
On the grass, coach Rubén Baraja’s charges have begun this campaign well, winning three league matches—notably a 3-0 victory against Atlético Madrid—and losing two as they strive to improve on last season’s wobbles. Following a transfer window that saw the club spend a little over €10 million ($11 million) on defender Cenk Özkacar and midfielder Pepelu, ex-Valencia star Baraja is getting the most from his young squad.
The deal with Puma may not directly affect its fortunes in games. But having the commercial side sewn up can only be beneficial from a Valencia standpoint.