Nike's Pyramid Of Football Kit Sponsorship - Elite, Premium, Standard, Third Party & Not Affiliated

Tuesday, 8 September 2020
Yesterday, we raised the question whether FC Sevilla should become a new Nike top team, also in order to receive exclusive bespoke kits. Most of our followers think that Nike's treatment for FC Sevilla should be improved. Today we want to take a closer look at which levels of sponsorship Nike has.

Same Treatment as Brighton? Should Sevilla Become A Nike Top Team?

Nike Levels Of Football Sponsorship


For Nike directly, there are at least four different tiers of teams - Elite , Premium, Standard & Third Party. There is also a fifth level, of which Nike is not responsible - clubs that buy their shirts themselves.

Nike's Pyramid Of Teams - Elite, Premium, Standard & Third-Party




Elite Teams - 10 Clubs - (e.g. FC Barcelona, Liverpool, AS Roma):




Nike Elite Teams are on the brand's highest level. They include the giants like Barca, Liverpool and PSG but also teams such as Roma, Inter and Leipzig [even though they are bit below them in terms of money & marketing, logically].

RB Leipzig to Become 10th Nike Elite Team Next Season

Nike Elite Teams:

Atletico, Barcelona, Chelsea, Galatasaray, Inter, Leipzig, Liverpool, PSG, Roma and Tottenham.

Premium Teams - More Than 20 Clubs - (e.g. Eintracht Frankfurt, Zenit):


Premium teams are on the second level of Nike's pyramid. Premium Teams get custom kit designs (most times home & away only), streamlined pre-match shirts and some custom lifestyle / training gear.

Nike Premium Teams (Examples): Eintracht Frankfurt, Zenit, Hertha BSC, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Steaua Bucharest, Venzia, Corinthians, Spartak, Sparta Prague, Ferencvaros, Club America

Standard Teams - Dozens Of Clubs - (e.g. Brighton, Sevilla)


Standard teams have a direct contract with Nike but get no bespoke designs - they mostly receive kits with custom color combos.

Nike Standard Teams (Examples): FC Sevilla, Young Boys, Brighton, Maccabi Haifa, Vitesse, Utrecht

Third Party - Hundreds Of Clubs - (e.g. FC Augsburg & 1860 Munich):


Third Party teams have no direct contract with Nike but with a third-party, who manage contracts for Nike in those countries. These teams get no bespoke kits from Nike ever.

The third-party deals are often managed by local retailers. In example, many German Nike deals are managed by 11teamsports, while those of English teams for teams likey Birmingham & Portsmouth are managed by Just Sport.

Nike Third Party Teams (Examples): FC Augsburg, Hansa Rostock, Bochum, 1860 München, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Livingston, FC Eindhoven

Non-Affiliated Nike Teams - Thousands of Clubs:


Teams who buy their shirt themselves and choose - possibly more than hundred thousand worldwide.

National Teams




We did not include any national teams in our list - of course, the same applies for the nations sponsored by Nike.

Elite National Teams (Examples): USA, England, Nigeria, South Korea & Portugal

Premium National Teams (Examples): Slovakia, Turkey, Slovenia, Norway



Do you agree with "our" pyramid of Nike sponsorship? Would you sign with Nike as middle-class first division club if you would get only custom colors? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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