Chelsea seal sponsorship after deal agreed and statement made

Chelsea news as Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital finally look set to name their first new shirt sponsor since taking over the club after Three’s deal came to an end last season

Chelsea corner flag at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are close to announcing their new sponsor.

Chelsea are now closing in on making a major sponsorship breakthrough after months of toil. Following the announcement of a deal for Nottingham Forest with betting company Kaiyun, the Blues are now the only team in the Premier League without a primary shirt partner.

It has seen them head out onto the pitch this season, and dating back to their pre-season tour of America, with sponsorless shirts. Having had one of the biggest commercial deals in the league with mobile giants Three, the failure to secure a replacement has been used as a stick to beat the new owners with following 12 months of turmoil in charge.

Now, four weeks into the 2023/24 campaign, there is finally a reported plan in place for the club. The lack of sponsor would set them back around £60million per season based on their competitors’ deals, and the struggles to find a new partner has been partially to do with that.

After a disastrous year behind them, Chelsea don’t have the leverage of European football and have found it tough to progress with packages of the size they desire. Now, after three months of work, they are finally closing in on a deal.

It has been reported that Infinite Athlete – a company recently formed when Tempus Ex Machina acquired Biocore – will be the front-of-shirt sponsor for the rest of this season. Tempus Ex Machina already have a deal in place with Chelsea, helping to revolutionise the fan experience of the matches on the website and app.

Infinite Athlete are said to be in a position to fill in short-term as a primary sponsor before their branding is moved to a sleeve sponsor next season, leaving space for a long-term main partnership still. The expectation has been for a while that Infinite Athlete would be given the green light by the Premier League after a deal with Paramount Plus was stopped due to conflicts of interest with other broadcasters across the world.

In place of Infinite Athlete, it is expected that Riyadh Air, the official state airline of Saudi Arabia, will takeover from 2024/25. It emerged earlier in the week that talks had been held between the clubs and representatives of Riyadh Air, though a statement was later put out by the company.

“Riyadh Air is proud to be the recently announced official sponsor of Atletico de Madrid, one of Europe’s leading clubs for the next four seasons,” it reads.

“Regarding any other queries, we do not comment on speculation or rumours.” Now, it appears that the Blues are ready to come to a big agreement for their future. After already making Oman Air their official airline partners, Riyadh would follow in a long-line or largely popular sponsors including Samsung and Fly Emirates.

After it had been reported that the club were in talks with online casino and betting company, Stake, fan backlash saw a new line of direction taken. Riyadh Air are yet to fly a plane and have no plans to until 2025 but are now said to be willing to commit to a ‘multi-year deal’ with Chelsea.

It would bring to an end months of speculation and uncertainty around the matter as well as a financial boost with great hopes for Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital when it comes to raising the revenue massively during their ownership.

Infinite Athlete had been expected to be announced as the new sponsors before the international break but that time has been and passed already with nothing to report. The break has been seen as the perfect chance to complete talks.

There were also reports of Kaiyun being considered as an option but it appears Riyadh Air have made the vital breakthrough with this one.

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