Nike and Adidas are the leading apparel manufacturers in many sports, including soccer. They control three quarters of the soccer market and have a combined $4.3 billion in soccer-related income each year. Both brands are willing to pay upwards of $50 million per year to ensure their logos are on the jerseys of elite soccer clubs.
Below are the Top 10 official replica jerseys sold each year. The list does not include the millions of knock-off jerseys that flood the market every year.
10. AC Milan – 350,000
The Rossoneri have a 10-year contract with Adidas that ends in 2017 and pays one of Italy’s most well-known soccer clubs $19 million yearly.
Highest-selling AC Milan jersey: Italy’s Stephan El Shaarawy.
9. Inter Milan – 425,000
Inter Milan have passed their city rivals, AC Milan, in jersey sales. Nike has provided kits for the team since 1995, and currently pays $23 million a year.
Highest-selling Inter Milan jersey names: Argentina’s Rodrigo Palacio and Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo.
8. Juventus – 480,000
The record holder for the most Serie A league titles, Juventus recently struck a $30 million a year deal with Adidas for the 2016 season. However, Nike is their current jersey sponsor, paying the club $17 million annually.
Highest-selling Juventus jersey names: Italy’s Andrea Pirlo, France’s Paul Pogba and Argentina’s Carlos Tevez.
7. Arsenal – 800,000
The Gunners’ jersey sales are almost double those of Juventus, and they are the only team in the Top 10 sponsored by Puma. The sponsorship deal pays the team $45 million a year until the 2019 season.
Highest-selling Arsenal jersey names: Germany’s Mesut Ozil, England’s Jack Wilshere and Wales’ Aaron Ramsey.
6. Liverpool – 810,000
The most successful English team in Europe holds the No. 6 spot for jersey sales. After its contract with Adidas expired in 2012, Liverpool made Warrior Sports its official kit supplier for $40 million annually.
Highest-selling Liverpool jersey names: Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho and England’s Daniel Sturridge,
5. Bayern Munich – 880,000
The most successful German team of all time currently holds the title of Champions of Europe and has 16 German players who won the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer. Adidas has a contract with the team until 2020 and pays the team $29 million annually.
Highest-selling Bayern Munich jersey names: Germany’s Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger, France’s Franck Ribery.
4. Chelsea FC – 910,000
Currently atop the Premier table, the Blues rank as the second-best English team in terms of jersey sales. Chelsea and Adidas’ current contract pays the team $32 million annually and lasts until 2018.
Highest-selling Chelsea jersey names: Belgium’s Eden Hazard and Brazil’s Oscar.
3. FC Barcelona – 1.15 million
The first club to top 1 million jersey sales is FC Barcelona; it’s currently Nike’s second-highest selling club soccer jersey. The team is paid $43 million a year until 2018.
Highest-selling Barcelona’s jersey names: Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and Spain’s Xavi Hernandez.
2. Real Madrid – 1.4 million
The richest soccer club in the world takes the No.2 spot, dropping from No. 1 in 2013. Adidas pays the team $49 million annually and will continue to do so until 2020.
Highest-selling Real Madrid jersey names: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Wales’ Gareth Bale and Spain’s Xabi Alonso.
1. Manchester United – 2 million
It’s not surprising that the most popular soccer team in the world sells the most jerseys. Manchester United is currently Nike’s highest-selling club soccer jersey. Nike pays the team $41 million a year. However, the Red Devils have struck a record-breaking deal with Adidas for next year’s soccer season that will pay the team a staggering $100 million annually, making it the most expensive kit sponsorship in the world.
Highest-selling Manchester United jersey names: England’s Wayne Rooney, Holland’s Robin Van Persie and Spain’s Juan Mata.