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Chelsea confirm end of Yokohama shirt sponsorship deal

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Yokohama will continue as “Global Tyre Partner”

MK Dons v Chelsea XI - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea’s five-year, £200m deal with Yokohama (Tyres) is ending this season, and it would appear that they will not be returning as shirt sponsors next season.

As announced on the official website, the Japanese tire/tyre manufacturers will continue only as the team’s “Official Global Tyre Partner”. Clearly, what a football team needs to make it go is a Global Tyre Partner.

The announcement is couched in terms of this new definition of the partnership, so it’s easy to miss the actual important part:

Although the current season will bring to an end five very successful years with Yokohama as Chelsea’s Official Shirt Partner, the Japanese company is continuing the great relationship we have as our Official Global Tyre Partner.

-source: Chelsea FC

With the relationship thus downgraded to a less visible and more purely commercial venture, Chelsea will likely be sporting a new company’s name front and center on next season’s shirts.

Reports from earlier this season, including from The Athletic, already had Chelsea exploring and testing the market to see what’s out there. Seems like we found something promising maybe? The £40m/year deal at the time was the second largest, though now the rest of the “big” teams have all caught up. (Manchester United still lead comfortably, thanks to the generosity/wastefulness of Chevrolet — that deal ends next season.)

We’ve had airlines, electronics, beer, and Autoglass. So what’s next after tires/tyres?