Fast forward a year, and Yokohama tyres hope it will be their logo emblazoned across the chests of Chelsea players when they lift a big cup!
The Tokyo-based tyre manufacturer has just signed an eye-watering five year shirt sponsorship deal worth £200 million with the 2015 League Cup champions, that’s £40 million per season!
Yokohama’s symbol is a big red Y and it is not clear yet whether the new shirts will also feature the tyre makers name, although judging by social media posts, it will.
From Chelsea’s point of view, the advantages of the deal are obvious: it more than doubles the £18 million the club currently receives every year from Samsung to grace their shirts and while it is its largest-ever commercial deal, it is also one of the biggest shirt sponsorships ever signed.
So what is in it for Yokohama? Tadanobu Nagumo, Chairman and CEO of The Yokohama Rubber Company Ltd, enthuses: “This shirt partnership with Chelsea will give Yokohama an opportunity to showcase our company to a huge worldwide audience thanks to Chelsea’s ever-growing popularity.
“We see our partnership with Chelsea as an integral part of our global expansion plans as we enter Phase IV of our Grand Design 100 plan. We look forward to launching our iconic new Chelsea Yokohama shirt this summer.”
Last season Chelsea FC was the most watched Premier League team on television worldwide, with over 31,000 broadcast hours. Chelsea is now one of the most recognised and influential sports brands in the world with more than 500 million fans.
While Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck adds: “Chelsea and Yokohama are a perfect fit. Both are global organisations with a focus on performance and innovation, as well as having huge ambition and an unwavering culture of success.
“We believe that Yokohama will play a key role in helping us drive our global expansion in international markets such as the US, where they have operated with distinction for many years. Also, of course, Chelsea having such an esteemed and historic Japanese company as our partner enables us to accelerate our development in their home market too.
“We are also looking forward to working with Yokohama on our community projects around the world through the Chelsea Foundation, when together we can use the power of sport as a force for good.
“I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Samsung, with whom we have had a successful and rewarding relationship since 2005. Chelsea has demonstrated through that 10-year partnership that we can play a critical role in helping our partners achieve their global growth objectives. We look forward to accomplishing similar success with Yokohama.
Denna Bowman, Head Office