Celtic land record deal with Adidas

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic have announced a five-year kit partnership with German sportswear giant Adidas – achieving a record deal in Scotland.

Beginning on 1st July 2020, Adidas will become Celtic’s new official kit supplier, covering both the men’s and women’s teams.

While financial figures and an exact figure haven’t been revealed in a disclosed deal, it is described by the club as a deal which is ‘the biggest kit sponsorship ever to be announced across Scottish sport’.

The news confirms an end to the Bhoys’ deal with New Balance, which was signed back in 2015 and reportedly worth as much as UK£30 million (AU$60.1 million). Before that, Celtic had held a technical deal with Nike.

“This is a hugely significant new partnership for Celtic and our supporters and allows us to look to the future with confidence,” said Peter Lawwell, Celtic’s chief executive.

“To be able to create this fantastic new relationship demonstrates the strength and stability of the club and the power of our enduring story.”

The partnership adds to Celtic’s remarkable championship record, winning titles every year since the merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League in 2013.

‘Celtic’s successful football history and future ambition make us hugely excited to be working together to create a new chapter with one of the most famous football clubs in the world,’ said Adidas in a statement.

‘We are obsessed with helping athletes improve their game, life and world, and as such we look forward to supporting Celtic’s players on the pitch as they continue to create new levels of success, and we are confident their legendary fanbase will love our designs.’

On the pitch, Celtic are 13 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand on Rangers and remain on course for their ninth consecutive domestic league title.

However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, all league fixtures have been postponed until further notice as confirmed by the SPFL, with all domestic and grassroots matches put on hold to try and control the spread of the virus.

It is yet to be known if Celtic will officially be awarded their title with circumstances as they are.

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program a key investment in Western Australia

Western Australia events are receiving significant support through the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24.

The WA State Government has invested over $630,000 to a host of sporting bodies across a vast number of codes.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • build capacity and capability of the sport and recreation workforce and volunteers to plan, secure and/or deliver quality sport and active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for talented WA athletes, coaches and officials to participate at a national and/or international level in their home environment
  • provide opportunities for the public to participate in sport and/or active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for regional Western Australians to experience and conduct major sporting events and sport development initiatives in a regional location.

The program comprises three categories:

  • event projects (up to $15,000)
  • event hosting (up to $50,000)
  • the Country Sport Enrichment Scheme (up to $30,000).

In Round 1 of the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24, one of the successful applicants was Football West, who ran 2024 Goldfields Regional Festival of Football – a seven-day community engagement event that improved football capacity in the wider Goldfields area. After receiving $24,200, Football West’s main goal is to increase participation in the region.

There is still time to apply for the next round of funding, which closes 5:00pm on February 26, 2024.

For full information and eligibility to apply, you can find it here.

WSL eyeing enormous 150% increase to broadcast rights deal

In a historic first for football in the UK, every single Women’s Super League match is set to be broadcasted live from next season across multiple channels.

The WSL tender document issued to broadcasters this month features all 132 league games, with 56 to be sold exclusively and the remaining 76 available on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the terms of the existing deal that expires at the end of the current season, Sky broadcast 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22, with the rest streamed for free on the FA’s website.

The tender document is asking for a huge £20 million ($38.48 million) a year TV deal and this 150% increase to the value of its broadcasting deal is far from surprising following the explosion of the women’s game. This figure is set to be confirmed as soon as they can find the right suitors.

In an attempt to gain an increase from the existing £7.75 million ($14.91 million) a year deal, the WSL have responded by making every match available for broadcast, which the league hoped would attract bids from beyond current rights holders Sky Sports and the BBC, It looks to be working.

Sky Sports and the BBC are set to bid again on the rights and extend the current partnership whilst it is said that this potential deal is also attracting networks like TNT Sports and DAZN.

The Premier League and EFL have stood firm on the UEFA blackout that suggests all 3pm Saturday matches are not shown on TV, to encourage locals to attend matches in person. This means the WSL will have to work around it and it is likely that Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoons remain as the most common kick-off times.

There is little the WSL are having to do to persuade broadcasters into putting their hands up for these rights, which is a testament to the sport’s current growth and upward trajectory it is trending towards.

FA Director of Women’s football, Kelly Simmons, explained how important it was to secure this monumental broadcast deal.

“While we’ve been developing this it’s been so hard to sit on it because it’s so exciting for the women’s game. It is transformational,” Simmons said in an interview with Guardian Sport.

“When I first came into this role, we said that we really thought women’s football could really break into the mainstream and this is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out.”

This deal in particular launches women’s football into the mainstream and helps improve the quality of the product which goes a long way to opening the eyes of a huge audience to its impact as a sport and socially.

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