Ambitious Manchester United & Arsenal claim made as Newcastle United agree £30m deal

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Newcastle United’s retail operation will undergo a major change this summer when Adidas return as kit suppliers.

Newcastle United’s decision to move its retail operations in-house has been described as a “real step change” by Chief Commercial Officer Peter Silverstone. And under Adidas, the Magpies are eyeing kit sales to rival Premier League and European giants.

The retail side of the club is currently controlled by Castore as part of the agreement signed under former owner Mike Ashley three years ago. However, the Magpies will take back control this summer when Adidas officially return as kit partners in a deal reportedly worth between £30million to £40m.

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And work is already well underway. A temporary club shop - situated between the Strawberry pub and St James’ Park Metro Station - will open on Wednesday, May 29 whilst the current store at the Gallowgate End of St James’ undergoes an extensive refurbishment.

Adidas will design Newcastle United's shirts from the 2024-25 season onwards after agreeing a £40million dealAdidas will design Newcastle United's shirts from the 2024-25 season onwards after agreeing a £40million deal
Adidas will design Newcastle United's shirts from the 2024-25 season onwards after agreeing a £40million deal | AFP via Getty Images

The temporary club shop will begin selling a new range of merchandise before the launch of Adidas products - starting with the 2024-25 home kit from Friday, June 7 - before being removed once the store refurb is completed later this summer. Meanwhile, the club is also building a new online retail platform - shop.newcastleunited.com - that will also go live on May 29.

Speaking about the importance on bringing the retail operation in-house, Silverstone told local journalists: “It’s getting there. It’s been a long, long project if I think back to a lot of discussions and deliberations about the next kit partner. Decisions were made there and finalised, and then from finalisation of the decision to reunite with Adidas, we then had a lot of time working out what model we wanted to operate retail.

“There’s lots of different models, and it doesn’t matter about size of club – different clubs operate differently. You can outsource your retail completely to different third parties, even without it being a kit relationship. You can insource some of it and outsource others, you can run the store yourself and run your ecommerce via someone else, or you can bring it all in-house. We’ve decided to bring it all in-house, primarily to be able to build a relationship directly with the fan. This way, the fan can buy directly from the club, and the club can deal with directly with fans who want to buy from the club.

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“If, or when, there is a delay, or delivery issue, or product feedback, or a desire to have this type of product or that type of product, the relationship between the club and the individual supporter is there. If you look at the main club store at Borussia Dortmund, it’s incredible the amount of different products that are available. Let’s say our fans want Newcastle United garden hoses. Well, we can get that feedback directly from them now, and then try to find that product. So, being in-house like that is real step change for us. But then once you decide that, it’s about how you build it.

“The units that have gone in outside St James’ Park are the first physical manifestations of the store, but there’s also been an awful lot of work done on our website. That’s all behind screens, but there’s an awful lot of work been happening there. You have to bring in staff, and we’ve been lucky to be able to hire incredible local talent, with great retail experience. They’re building their own teams now because you need to be able to have store staff, ecommerce staff.

“This is one step in the journey. It’s good to see the temporary retail store there now, but I’m already thinking about the next step, which is the full store, and that’s due to be finalised this week. Building work starts soon on that, and kits are beginning to come into the country ahead of the launch of the Adidas relationship in June. Then we’re also now thinking about the launch of the away kit, nailing down when that’s going to be, and the launch of the third kit too. It’s all happening, and it’s really exciting.”

As mentioned, the first Newcastle home shirt designed by Adidas in 15 years is set to go on sale on the first Friday of June. Silverstone admits the Magpies don’t sell as many shirts as other Adidas clients such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid - but the ultimate aim is to catch them.

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Silverstone said: “If we talk about the different elements of the commercial horizon, then we’ve got the retail element and they’re going to deliver us incredible product which, at times, will hark back to the heritage and history of the past, but also be forward-looking. So, they’ll provide us with great product to sell. That goes without saying, and having seen the designs for this year and next year, and ideas for the future, I’m pretty sure our fans will buy in to that and want to have that product.

“Adidas are also a sponsor, so they want our marketing platform and the assets and imagery that we provide – the player imagery, the player marketing, the media exposure around the stadium and different assets and rights. Then they will also provide sponsorship to us. They will market our brand globally and in targeted territories, in a unique way.

“Adidas are also the sponsor and kit partner of other top clubs – Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus – and we find ourselves with the same marketing partnership and capacity as they do. Our ambition is to have the great product and great platform, and ultimately have as many fans to sell our Adidas shirts to. Of those clubs I’ve just said, we don’t sell as many shirts at the moment. But our goal and ambition is to catch them up.”

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