Saturday, January 28, 2023

Arsenal appointment hints at Adidas tie-up

As many will no doubt be aware rumours of a potential Arsenal kit deal with Adidas have been doing the rounds since the summer. Indeed, even though our current partnership with Nike, which has been running since 1994, doesn’t end until 2014 there have even been suggestions the Gunners could revive their relationship with the German sportswear manufacturers in time for next season.

Whether the club is in a position to buy Nike out of the final year of their contract, as Chelsea did with Umbro before moving to Adidas in the first year of the Abramovich era, remains to be seen, but given the latest in-house appointment at the Emirates the possibility of an Adidas deal looks increasingly likely.

FC Business reported yesterday that Simon Lilley has been made the club’s new Head of Retail; a position he’ll take up next month. Having garnered ten years experience working for Adidas, he’s more recently worked for UEFA, where he consolidated Adidas’ position as a global sponsor, and for LOCOG, for whom he was Head of Licensing and Retail – a position which again saw him strengthen Olympic ties with the “The Brand with 3 Stripes.”

It remains to be seen how exactly Lilley influences Arsenal’s retail arm, although Chief Commercial Officer Tom Fox spoke warmly about the new man.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Simon has decided to join Arsenal. His track record in delivering outstanding commercial revenues for global sports brands and developing multi-channel retail businesses is second to none.

“Our retail division has made enormous strides recently and we hope that Simon will help us to continue shaping and evolving our retail strategy as we look to identify further opportunities to grow our retail operations both online and internationally.”

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That’s disappointing if we do end up with the 3 stripes. I think Nike do a great job with our kits, and I’m not a fan of what Adidas has offered design wise to it’s other marquee teams. If the club gets more revenue great, but we are 2 years minimum from seeing an Adidas shirt and I don’t feel they will outsell nowhere near as much as what we have sold through Nike shirts.


That looks like shit. Something straight from the 70’s. Might as well bring back the short shorts too.. I HATE the 3 stripes! Just look at the current Mugsmashers’ kit and how much cleaner it looks without that garbage. But money is king as usual. Shurely Nike could match any offer adicrap would make. Also I nearly vomited when I saw both our current kits, but slowly they have grown on me and ended up ordering both. The red numbers on the purple kit in the new font looks badass! Still love the yellow third kit we wore against West… Read more »



The Blaze

So you dislike the blue hoops that are in our badge, but you love the Adidas-mock up that makes us look more like Ajax instead of Arsenal. Classic.


Colour blocking. It’s called colour blocking and it’s fashionable. 😀


Agree with you. But at all I´m not bothered if we would have bigger revenue. It´s money which we probably never see (in transfer market), but that is another topic.


82 comments as I type? 40 odd comments on the U-21 game the other night. I despair at the main interests of two thirds of the “gooners” using this site


I apologise if this is completely off topic, but when I saw this story I remembered my dream from last night:

We lost 0-10 to Bayern. 10-0 !


Have to be honest here. Adidas kits are fucking gross. Would rather not have stripes on the sleeves again.


Nike kits are classics for me. Adidas reminds me “uniforms” which where Chelski, which I don´t like. And stripes on sleeves? no thanks.


Let’s stop all this fussin and a fueding,we could end up like the mugsmashers and have the massive global brand that is warrior.

B Hill

Better yet- Under Armour!

'desi'gner gooner

Agree completely with you mate…..Adidas with their three stripes over the shoulder manage to make all kits look the same – the color being the only difference. It must be a nightmare for the designers at adidas to work with such a rigid idea all the time….Nike on the other hand innovate a lot and I like that approach to design. Yeah you might go wrong sometimes but we get to see a lot of fresh ideas everytime nike comes up with a new kit. I for one love the purple reign kit and don’t have too much of a… Read more »


Noooooo! I love what Nike have done for Arsenal and I despise Adidas! Please don’t happen 🙁


I’m all for it if it brings in some cash – hopefully more cash = more reinvestment… I can dream at least 🙂


Sorry, but it doesn´t work in “our” club 🙂 and I´m a always positive minded fan.


Hmm. Guess I’m the only one who didn’t mind Adidas’s ‘Pool and Chelsea kits. Taste, eh?


Pool’s black away w/silver pin-stripes and Chelsea’s current home are the most elegantly designed, cleanest kits any team has had in years. On a par with the blue with blue pinstripes we had in 09. I’ve never had a massive problem with what Nike have done with our home shirts, but every company for some reason feels that they have to get crazy with the away shirts with off-key colour combinations and stupid patterns and the like – and Nike have fucked us with that kind of nonsense a lot in my opinion. I can only think of two Arsenal… Read more »


Congratulations are due to arseblogger for being able to assemble the only 6 gooners who actually like the recent Arsenal kits, all in one place! 😉

It certainly supports your theory that people only chime in with negative comments, rather than positive.


Now seven: This season’s home shirt is excellent. And if the blue/white/red hoop is good enough for the RAF, it’s good enough for Arsenal.


Eight, I like this years kit too. It’s different and as others have said there’s blue in the badge so why not a bit of blue on the kit. At least they’re mixing it up and not making you dish out for a new kit that has barely changed.


nine, it grew on me, tbqh



Also, I’m surprised at the amount of negativity about Adidas kits, in part because the backlash against many of the Nike concepts (esp the away colours of recent years) seemed to signal enough unrest to demand a change. Adidas does very good work and is usually quite conservative, something most football fans seem to like…so?

adam t

Not an Adidas fan myself. The strip just dominate the shirt.
Whilst I have questioned some Nike decisions like the purple regal and this seasoned hooped sleeves, they look amazing when seen in the flesh. Just look bloody awful when seen online lol


Personally, I’m an Arsenal fan. I couldn’t give a flying one about which brand the shirt is made by and find it bizarre that anyone would. Both companies – Nike and Adidas- are in the same business and employ designers to design kits. Even though it would appear to some of us that the people they use are straight out of some kind of care in the community scheme, judging by their outputs. The only thing which matters is how much money the relevant company pays us. Either way, we’ll get a load of “contemporary” designs presented with a load… Read more »


Agree, it’s about the cannon, not the the stripes or the swoosh. But at least toying with the idea to change to adidas should pressure nike into giving us better terms.
Just to contradict myself, I would still be a little bit sad if we switched, i think nike has done a good job. Sometimes better, sometimes worse of course.
But think of the 02 – 04 kit. Of course the team that used to wear that shirt was so good that it’s impossible to remain objective, but also the kit itself was fantastic in my opinion


Reminds me that I want O2 back as a sponsor, Emirates looks stupid in comparison

The Truth

If we have to have a sponsor’s name on the shirt can’t it be Canon?


Well hopefully he will help get us a good deal off of Addias as Man Utd’s Kit deal with Nike is up in 2015 and there are talks of them renewing their deal with Nike for £1bn over the lifetime of the deal (15 years or £60m per year). If we don’t get something close we will just fall further and further behind.

Dark Stein

Argh not Addidas. They have no creativity when it comes to kits. The 3 stripes have to be there so it limits what designs you can come up with. Nike have been awesome. Starting with the first two blue/light blue away kits from ’94-96. I still have them in my parents loft (i wonder if i’d still fit in them?). The only kit I haven’t liked is the recent yellow and redcurrent one. @RobC make that the only 7 ppl who like the recent kits…;-)


Nike, addidas, umbro, errea…well perhaps not errea I honestly do not care. Shall we win while donning the addidas one?. I think not!. I wouldn’t mind seeing giroud taking to the pitch in his undies and score afew. Mikel in tights, andre in pyjamas but please win.

Wrighty's Gold Tooth

I think football shirts have become to ‘athletic’ and Nike are partially to blame for that. This has always been my favourite of our shirt designs:

Goon Goon Goon

We gotta move with the times and having a big money sponsorship is the difference between spending wisely or spending over £20m on a player (potentially). We need these big deals to commit in the future. Switching to Adidas will switch it up a bit which is always nice to keep things fresh


If they do yellow and blue away kits I’m sold.


We ran a just-for-fun competition over at to see what an adidas Arsenal kit might look like It may be of interest.


Some of those are definitely a bit tasty. Arius especially – I will support any campaign that gets us into a black away shirt. And Red/Gold is always a winner.


The myth that Nike/Adidas etc actually design the kits isn’t entirely true. Often clubs (or their associated agencies) will design it and the sportswear brands will realise it.

Big difference.


Personally I like the idea of Adidas making our kits again, but I guess I’m still looking lovingly at the Anfield 89 kit, which was Adidas. The only downside was that hideous away kit that Wrighty’s Gold Tooth has already reminded us of. The people saying that there isn’t a lot you can do with an Adidas kit my answer is great, red shirt, white sleeves, who cares if there 3 stripes down the sleeves, check out our old Adidas kits, doesn’t look bad at all, better than some of the crap Nike have dished up.


AFC’s spectacular inability to generate commercial income is nothing short of scandalous. And is as good a reason as any why Gazidis and the board should all be sacked. Our commercial income was just £46M in 2010/11 … compare this with Liverpool (£77M), Chelsea (£57M), Man City (£58M), and Man United (£103M). Thanks to high ticket prices and CL money we miraculously end up as 5th highest total income in Europe. In 2007 Arsenal’s commercial income was £42M and Manchester United’s was £56M. Now ours is £53M and ManU’s is a spectacular £118M. All this without ManU giving away Old… Read more »


I read somewhere that we have one of the largest fan bases in world football, the fact that we don’t exploit that is as you say a scandal. Our season ticket waiting list is almost now non existstant in comparison to a few years ago, due to the constant selling of players, the ridicules prices and the fact that arsenal only thinks a recession applies to the purchasing of players and not to the purchasing of a match ticket. And yet our top executive is in the top 3 wage earners of his position in football. Another trophy less season… Read more »


Uler – I know what you’re saying, but this is worth a read –


To be fair the commercial ‘team’ we had was almost non-existent and light years behind United. Tom Fox has come in and, if you read the piece on this site, working very hard to put a proper team together – which is absolutely necessary for the commercial future of the club. At the moment they are utterly hamstrung by the deals in place that we needed to build the new stadium. The acid test will be 2014 so they really need to be given the time to show they can improve things and that the work they’ve done in preparation… Read more »


The almost non-existent commercial team of which you speak was of course the result of David Dein’s lack of foresight, at best, in not seeing the importance of this revenue stream 20 years ago, as Manchester United’s owners/management team did. Something which the aforementioned’s aggressive PR signally fails to mention every time he wants to put out a story about just how great he and his tan are.


Clockendrider – fair point, Dein was so tied up in moving us to Wembley and making sure he was a friend of the players that he certainly didn’t do as much as he could have. It’s not as if it wasn’t obvious either. When people were wasting time being snitty about United selling shirts and winning fans abroad they should have been doing the very same. There’s no doubt we didn’t take advantage of our success the way we should have. Imagine the marketability of the Invincibles, but we had a ‘commercial’ unit that just wasn’t able to deal with… Read more »


The big primary shirt deals are only part of what is holding us back, The utter inability to create secondary partnerships is scandalous. Compare Arsenal’s list of Sponsers to Utds: They have 30, we have 11. Utd earn £18m per year from Mobile Telecoms partners, which is probably as much Arsenal earn from all their partners put together (Nike and Emirates included). Why aren’t Arsenal out there getting similar deals? You are right for the big deals there is not much we can do about them (even though Man Utd ‘s shirt Sponsorship deal is up the same… Read more »


“What’s the point in sacking people when the people you replace them with will have to deal with the exact same obstacles?” Because they might be better at dealing with those exact same obstacles. Tom Fox has been with us for three years which is a lifetime in business. During that time (ish) our commercial revenue has gone from £48M to £53M while Manchester United’s has gone from £70M to £118M. This with ‘proven’ businessmen sitting on the board. Directors like John Keswick (Hambros, DeBeers) and Philip Harris (Great Universal, Matalan). Not to mention Peter Hill-Wood … all men in… Read more »

Lets make it 10 years!!

Well said Eleanor, it makes no sense to wait until 2014!
There’s a total lack of innovation & a dearth of ideas by this commercial team.

Sydney Gooner

I feel 2014 is used as an excuse by the commercial team. I’m sure they can do plenty by then to help bridge the gap between us and Man Ure by around £20 Million through more secondary sponsorships.


Blogger Thanks I read that at the time (and thanks for putting it and the rest of the work you do with this site, it is great) but I’m afraid that it just strikes me as rationalising failure (for the want of a better term). In this journey he is talking about after three years Utd’s commercial income had gone up 33% (since 2009 when Fox took over it has gone up 48%) Arsenals has gone up by 9%. I know I sound like a sourpuss and I don’t expect us to match Utds income but it seems exactly like… Read more »


Uler, But surely the point is United’s wasn’t starting from pretty much nothing. In fact they had a good 10-odd years start. With the best will in the world, we can’t go from 0-100 in no time. At least the journey has begun now. Which, to my earlier point, ought to have been managed better back in the 90’s under a different management team. It wasn’t and here we are trying to play catch up. It will happen, but it will happen in time. The new shirt manufacturers and sponsors ought to give us the opportunity and money to further… Read more »


ClockEndRider I’m using Tom Fox’s “Journey” quotation from the link provided above., He talks about Utd starting “8 years ago” so I used that as the start point so I think it is completely fair to compare 3 years in . I’m afraid I disagree with you about giving time, the further behind we have fall in commercial income the harder it will be to compete, the harder it is to compete (i.e. win things) the further we will fall in commercial income, its a vicious cycle that our commercial team has done very little to break so I am… Read more »


Always thought Adidas kits look good so I’m quite pleased on that front!


At least it’s not Pony doing the shirts.

Now that was a marriage made in heaven when Pony did the Spuds kit.

If it looks like shit, smells like shit and even says it on the shirt, guess what?


Good. Nike kits have been fairly horrid of late (our last two away kits have been horrific) and we need a new kit deal since we are getting royally screwed at the nokent


Nike kits are shit, every teams shirt has exactly the same design apart from the colour.

I’d much prefer the Adidas sponsorship. Hopefully there’s more money in it for us too.


Cmon guys, Adidad are way ahead of Nike design and qualiyt wise. And hopefully results will improve as the Adidas kits look more solid.


Pony and a chicken on their shirts….!!


Look what Nike did with the Barca kits (especially the away kit):×352.jpg

Imagine something ugly as that with the Gunner badge on it!


We can’t be having the same kit supplier as Stoke 😐

Anna Mary

To be frank Adidas shirts are crap. I just hope we don’t dump Nike. Yes Nike has done a bad job this season with our kits but overall we have had a successful partnership with them for the past 13 years or so.

I don’t think the board will want to move over to Adidas, given our close connections with Nike (125th Anniversary kit, The Purple Reign kit / theme).

Also we have to start winning trophies if we want to command the kind of figures that Man Utd or Liverpool get.


Although some Adidas kits are ok in my opinion the best Adidas kits are still a distant 2nd to the best Nike kits. Barca, Juve(their jagged edged stripes are fantastic on their home and away kits), Inter and to a lesser extent Manure(Shit but innovative). They’re all innovative design wise and are not duplicated in other colors in other teams. I would have loved to have seen the Arsenal shirt in the design of Barca’s except in Red & White with the away the same design but maybe in Blue & Yellow. I love our purple number and our home… Read more »


Adidas all the way. German power baby and finaly time for some change 🙂


If Adidas could give us a few more quids to sign quality players i am fine with that


How can anyone in their right mind prefer Nike over adidas? Adidas have a fashion and street culture heritage that Nike can never buy! Just look at the trainer history and google image it.

Liverpool’s kits always look smart and ours look fisher price.

If in doubt, ask Ian Brown.

The Truth

Adidas kits. Endless tedious variations on one tired theme – three parallel lines.


Nike or Adidas give a fuck. Money is what it’s all about, which is understandable because that’s obviously the way the game has gone.

But call me an idealist hypocritical fool but I would rather go with the company that least exploits factory workers in poorer countries, whilst at the same time gives the club lots of money so we can hire very talented but greedy footballers.


If it ain’t broke.


Boys, just be pleased that it ain’t warrior kits. If we had warrior, i’d faint.


Blogs you should do a survey: adidas or nike, to find out what the fans would like.


I think we should go for cut-off jeans and no shirt, it works for me.
We could just tattoo the crest on the chest of the players.


For the never nudes amongst us


There are DOZENS of us.


Tobias! Can’t wait for that show to come back, looks more promising than our season at the moment.


That could work. It’s got to be an easier game when the opposition’s defence has gone all weak at the knees from the sight of a shirtless Giroud.


Why don’t we find a brand desperate to make a name for itself and charge them a fortune!


Nike have been a disaster, late kits, sizing never available (especially for kids), recalled kit because of quality issues, Arsenal always low priority behind other brands.
Fix this, or find a supplier who is willing to do so and prioritise our deal and everyone might make a bit more cash as well as be happy with the deal.

Maybe after this is fixed we can focus on whether the kit looks as you’d like


Excellent point. The club shop is still waiting for delivery of kids home kit socks. How difficult can it be for the manufacturer to design the kit: manufacture the kit: market the kit: provide the kit to club outlets in a timely fashion in order to maximise effect of said marketing? For a joined up company, not very is the answer.
Unless of course the manufacturer already sees that they are going to be dumped and deliberately doesn’t put sufficient effort/priority into supporting the client.
Shambles, and not for the first time……



red or dead

I’m quite excited about a possible Adidas kit.

Probably because in my mind it’ll be a re-issue of the 89 shirts. How bloody ace would that be?

Ace on toast is how ace.

James Garvey

If this deal results in me being able to buy Arsenal branded Superstar trainers, then shut up and take my money.


Yes red or dead you know this!!


I just hate what Nike do with our away kits. Adidas is better and they will give us bucket loads more money (even more so If we win something before signing the deals). So I am happy.


I must say I do admire those that have such strong opinions on the subject.

Personally I couldn’t give a fish’s tit as long as a) we win something and b) we don’t have shirts with birds hormones in, like the 2000 Waffer Cup final.


lovely… step 1 should be to dump Venda from the shopdirect site, it is abysmal!

Please, don't let it be so!

I think hiring this Lilley fella is a good piece of recruitment, but I hope for dear life that I won’t have to see my beloved Arsenal in Adidas! Nike has designed the best kits in the past 5 years or so, hands down! (The pink Juventus away shirt aside…) They’re cutting edge in a way that Adidas isn’t and I think Arsenal share many core values with Nike. What Nike does to the sportswear market is what Arsenal does to football. Staying ahead and setting the bar, not looking at what others do first. Sure, we haven’t won anything… Read more »

[…] is as good as mine about the timing of this particular story but it tallies with something we ran on Arseblog News this week. Essentially, the club’s new Head of Retail is a man called Simon Lilley, and to quote from […]


if you want to have an idea of what an arsenal adidas kit will look like this is the closest example i could find of teams wearing the 2012 adidas style.

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