Earlier today, the club made official what we've expected for weeks now, if not months: they've made New Balance the new official kit supplier for AS Roma. After dissolving a near decade-long partnership with Nike, one that was undoubtedly aesthetically successful but left a bit to be desired financially, Roma went through a brief courtship period with the world's biggest athletic supplies (Adidas, Puma, Under Armour, etc.) before rumors of a pact with New Balance, a Boston-based company best known for their running shoes, started to circulate in late 2020.
And while the club didn't reveal any financial details, moments ago they officially unveiled New Balance as their new technical sponsor in a deal that will commence with the 2021-2022 season.
Speaking on the new deal with New Balance, Roma CEO Guido Fienga cited the club's ambitions as the foundation for this new partnership:
This agreement represents an important step for the club and our ambitions to continue growing
New Balance are globally recognised as leaders in their industry and we are convinced this new partnership will mark the start of many great new opportunities for our brand.
We are delighted to entrust the creation of our bespoke kits to them, and cannot wait to see AS Roma players wearing the new shirts.
Roma aren't the first football club New Balance has outfitted, but after being spurned by Liverpool (who recently joined up with Nike), the Giallorossi are now perhaps the shoe manufacturer's highest-profile client; a list that includes clubs like Porto and Lille.
New Balance Football General Manager Kenny McCallum also spoke on this new pact with Roma:
We are delighted to welcome AS Roma into the New Balance family,” said Kenny McCallum, the General Manager of New Balance Football.
We are talking about more than just a football club here: the Giallorossi have a style and approach that is unmatched in their sport, showing a deep sense of social responsibility and community spirit.
We are immensely proud to be working with the club in order to bring our innovative approach to kit design and development to the beautiful world of Italian football.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but prior to this announcement, it was speculated that Roma will sacrifice a bit of money upfront (compared to the terms of their Nike deal) in order to make more on the back-end, receiving a higher percentage of the actual sales revenues.
This is still a bit of a shocking move, but if you weigh the mutual consideration in the deal, it does make a great deal of sense. Both parties are counting on one another to provide a boost in profile and reputation in European football. If Roma are successful on the pitch and can move more kits as a result, they stand to earn a bigger share of the profits, while New Balance, who are seeking to gain a stronger foothold in the world's most popular sport, are equally incentivized by Roma's success on and off the pitch, as it will lend them credibility as a legitimate footballing brand.
It's a calculated gamble by both organizations, but it's one that could pay handsome dividends to both AS Roma and New Balance. In the meantime, expect kit leaks to start any day now.
Welcome to the family, New Balance.