What Aston Villa can expect from adidas partnership

How do you make an adidas Aston Villa shirt even better? Stick a Champions League sleeve patch on it.

This is the most exciting time to be a Villa supporter for a long time; wherever you look there's something to get giddy about. As the season draws to a close, it's time fans turn their attention to the pre-season tour, summer transfers, in Villa's case, opponents in next season's Champions League and, of course, the new kit range.

Villa's kits will be manufactured by adidas from next season after Nassef Sawiris - who owns around seven per cent of the German company - and Chris Heck struck an agreement last year. The deal is reportedly worth multi-millions of pounds for the men’s and women’s teams, and the academy.

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Villa have confirmed the deal with adidas today after teasing the announcement in the aftermath of Sunday's 5-0 dead rubber defeat at Crystal Palace.

They showed an image of what is likely to be the new lion and shield crest, with three lines at the bottom. The caption was a single word 'Tomorrow'.

What Villa have said

It has not exactly been a secret that adidas would become the sportswear brand of the club, as it was reported last year that Nassef Sawiris - who owns around seven per cent of the German company - and Chris Heck struck an agreement.

However with the 2023/24 campaign now at an end, the agreement has just been announced at 9am on Monday morning with Villa's men's, women's and junior teams to be kitted out from June 2024 onwards.

In a club statement Heck, Villa's president of business operations, said: "We believe we should be judged by the company we keep and so we are delighted to announce our partnership with adidas, one of the biggest and best sports brands in the world. This partnership represents an exciting new chapter for Aston Villa Football Club as we look to position ourselves consistently amongst the top football clubs globally.

"The announcement of the partnership with adidas, the biggest technical partnership in the Club’s history, follows the announcement of our new front-of-shirt partner, Betano, a couple of weeks ago and marks another milestone on the journey to grow our business on the global stage. We cannot wait to show the fans the new home shirt for the upcoming season, a season which will see UEFA Champions League football at Villa Park for the first time in the Club’s history. Up the Villa!"

What adidas have said

Also responding, adidas' global football general manager Nick Craggs added: "We are delighted to announce and share with fans adidas’ new partnership with Aston Villa Football Club. To partner with the club for the first time in our histories is a signpost for an ambitious future together; from the foundation of making the best product for both athlete and fan, to sharing stories and moments that will connect us with Aston Villa fans the World over."

New details have also been published as to the status of a new adidas home kit. Villa have not hinted at a date, though have told supporters to keep an eye on club and adidas social media channels for future updates.

Via the club's statement, fans are able to sign up using their email address to receive an immediate update when the new 2024/25 home kit goes on sale on launch day.

adidas in football

Kit manufacturer sponsorship revenues have been combined with total merchandising revenues to provide as good a measure of club popularity as any, and adidas will hopefully help take Villa into a global market in the years to come.

During his successful reign at the Philadelphia 76ers, Heck tapped into fashion, art and culture to increase the franchise's visibility. They collaborated with Nike to make exclusive shoes, which were given to influencers after they had been to games, and that pushed millions of social media users towards the NBA franchise.

The Sixers now have one of the largest season ticket bases in the NBA, and more than 15,000 fans on a season ticket waiting list. The franchise’s valuation was under $300m when Heck first arrived, now, it stands in excess of $3bn.

Villa's move to link up with adidas came after complaints from playing staff earlier this season about ‘wet-look’ Castore shirts.

"What we’ve done in 11 months, we’ve cleared up a lot of, let’s say, not great contracts," Heck said at SportsPro Live 2024. "We have reinvented ourselves. We will be launching the next generation of our brand, coming up in a few weeks.

"We have doubled our front-of-shirt deal, plus we have doubled our sleeve deal, plus we have doubled our kit deal. I haven’t been talking much because honestly we have been working to get this accomplished and now it’s time to share that the big six, who we are chasing, quite frankly we are ready to kick the door down."

Newcastle United will also swap Castore for adidas from next season and they alongside Villa shall join an elite stable of clubs. UEFA's recent European Club Finance and Investment Landscape report outlines exactly that and the financial bonuses which could come Villa's way.

Kit manufacturer sponsorship revenues have been combined with total merchandising revenues to provide, in UEFA's own words, 'probably as good a measure of club popularity as any' and adidas are the supplier for nearly half of the sides in the top 20 in 2023: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Arsenal, Juventus, Ajax, Celtic and Leeds United.

The list comprises all the dozen teams with the highest total revenues in 2023, as well as a number of other huge clubs in Eintracht Frankfurt, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. This is a significant move and there can be no doubt that adidas will help take Villa into a global market in the years to come.

Celtic raised £29m in kit and merchandising revenue alone, which represented nearly a quarter of the Scottish giant's overall turnover, while Leeds recorded a similar figure in 2022. Villa, in contrast, will now rebuild their own retail operations as part of the club's upcoming deal with adidas.


Heck, now tasked with building Villa as a major global brand and increasing the club's revenue streams, has also overseen a £40m sponsorship deal with Betano.

The Greek online betting platform will be the most lucrative front-of-shirt sponsor in the club’s history. The Betano deal is set to run for two years until 2026 when the ban on gambling companies on shirt fronts comes into effect.

Back in December, UEFA added Betano as a global sponsor of this summer's 2024 European Football Championship. The betting firm will also sponsor the next two editions of the Copa America. Betano currently feature on the shirts of Portuguese clubs FC Porto and Sporting CP, as well as Brazilian clubs Atletico Miniero and Fluminense.

"Those [big three] deals are massive," Heck told Villa TV. "We're really excited about getting those deals going in the summer, and we'll have a foundation to build on this business with those sponsors. As we add on more sponsors, we add on more nuances with the stadium and premium seating and merchandising.

He added: "It'll take a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of changes as we grow our business. We use the analogy with FFP that we have a train which is the football side, and a train on the business side. The train on the football side is going lightning fast and that's a good thing. The business side has to catch that train. We're working around the clock trying to do sponsorship deals, changing the stadium to be beneficial to Financial Fair Play, find new revenue streams, take in our merchandise in-house and things of that nature.”


Merchandising is a huge factor which will help Villa increase revenue and also become an attractive proposition to more fans on a global scale.

Villa closed their club shop after Monday night's Premier League clash against Liverpool "to allow a considerable schedule of works to commence ahead of a multi-million-pound project that will transform our club store and double its size."

Coming back to Heck's comments about launching "the next generation" of Villa as a brand leads us to the new crest. Like the deal with adidas, the new crest is also no big secret. The outline of it can be seen on the wall of the former Stumps building on the Witton Lane.

The new crest and the deal with adidas were also teased on the big screens at Villa Park during half-time of the match against Liverpool.

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