A company established in Rome by Nike when the kit supplier first agreed to sponsor Roma back in 2013 imitates the new way Juventus have been doing their transactions with Adidas. Before this week, if you wanted to license any kind of merch with Roma’s logo or name on it, you’d have to go through Nike.
This is the way clubs have been signing over their rights to kit suppliers through the commercial boom of football this side of the millenium. Fundamentally, clubs have prior knowledge they could not afford to try their hand at becoming global retailers suddenly.
Juventus were given a 6 million Euro a year advance by Adidas to sign over their rights to the German manufacturers back in 2014, but chose to give back the upfront money in exchange for buying and re-selling their own kits instead. Juventus also took over Adidas’ company in Turin itself – Juventus Merchandising – and rebranded the company Piemonte Merchandising while taking over all the official store contracts.
The official Juve store staff were effectively told by the Agnelli family: You work for us now.
Roma look on these developments from a distance with jealous, previously stuck and making little progress in their 5-million-a-year contract with kit sponsor Nike. The 10-year sponsorship was unsatisfactory enough that Roma chairman James Pallotta publicly acknowledged the contract was a mistake on many levels.