Manchester - Manchester City have stolen a march on their rivals by becoming the
first Premier League club to sign a "sleeve sponsorship" deal after a
relaxing of rules surrounding logos.
From next season the right sleeve of City's matchday shirt - a prime
piece of advertising real estate - will carry the name of Nexen Tire, a
South Korean firm that is already one of the club's commercial partners.
The deal will mean one of the Premier League's own logos will be
removed, although it will remain on the left sleeve with another on the
back of the shirt.
City, owned by Sheikh Mansour who is a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling
family, never disclose the value of sponsorship deals although the
tie-up with main shirt and stadium sponsor Etihad, agreed in 2011, is
thought to be worth £400 million over 10 years.
The Premier League's decision to free up advertising space on club
shirts means England's top-tier clubs can look forward to even greater
riches on top of their share of the eye-watering 5.1 billion pounds
domestic TV deal that kicked in this season.
That deal guarantees top flight clubs around £80 million per season, not including overseas TV rights.
City chief executive Ferran Soriano said the deal was part of the club's forward-thinking approach.
"At Manchester City, we are always striving to take an original approach
to our commercial partnerships, creating great relationships and great
content for our fans," he said in a statement.
The Premier League ended a title-sponsor deal with Barclays last year -
freeing up a 100mm square patch of cloth that club commercial directors
will be keen to sell to the highest bidder.
It could pave the way for a flurry of new sponsors clamouring to have
their logos on sleeves next season - although main shirt sponsors who
fork out millions of pounds each season may be less keen to share the