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Yokohama Rubber to become Official Shirt Partner

Chelsea Football Club is delighted to unveil The Yokohama Rubber Company Ltd as our new Official Shirt Partner in our largest-ever commercial deal. This places Chelsea right at the top of European football, with one of the biggest shirt sponsorships ever signed.

This partnership with one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers is for an initial term of five years and begins at the start of the 2015/16 season. It will see the Yokohama brand appearing on all of our shirts from our first team to our youth teams.

The agreement was formally concluded today when the Chairman and CEO of Yokohama, Mr Tadanobu Nagumo (pictured second left) and President of the Tire Group, Mr Hideto Katsuragawa (far left), flew in from Tokyo, Japan to appear in an official launch photoshoot with Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho and Captain John Terry.

‘It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Yokohama as our new Official Shirt Partner and we look forward to a successful relationship with them,’ said Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck.

‘Chelsea and Yokohama are a perfect fit. Both are global organisations with a focus on performance and innovation, as well as having huge ambition and an unwavering culture of success.

‘We believe that Yokohama will play a key role in helping us drive our global expansion in international markets such as the US, where they have operated with distinction for many years. Also, of course, Chelsea having such an esteemed and historic Japanese company as our partner enables us to accelerate our development in their home market too.

‘We are also looking forward to working with Yokohama on our community projects around the world through the Chelsea Foundation, when together we can use the power of sport as a force for good. 

‘I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Samsung, with whom we have had a successful and rewarding relationship since 2005. Chelsea has demonstrated through that 10-year partnership that we can play a critical role in helping our partners achieve their global growth objectives. We look forward to accomplishing similar success with Yokohama.’

Mr Nagumo, Chairman and CEO of The Yokohama Rubber Company Ltd, said: ‘This shirt partnership with Chelsea will give Yokohama an opportunity to showcase our company to a huge worldwide audience thanks to Chelsea’s ever-growing popularity. We see our partnership with Chelsea as an integral part of our global expansion plans as we enter Phase IV of our Grand Design 100 plan. We look forward to launching our iconic new Chelsea Yokohama shirt this summer.’

Last season Chelsea FC was the most watched Premier League team on television worldwide, with over 31,000 broadcast hours. Chelsea is now one of the most recognised and influential sports brands in the world with more than 500 million fans.

Today's agreement launches the club into a new era of innovative commercial partnerships. This will underpin Chelsea’s strategy to be one of Europe’s leading football clubs with a self-financing model which is fully compliant with the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules.

The Yokohama Rubber Company Ltd is a Tokyo Stock Exchange listed public company. Founded in 1917, Yokohama will soon be celebrating 100 years of experience in tyre manufacturing.

In addition to tyre expertise, Yokohama uses its technology for industrial, construction, marine and aerospace products as well as golf equipment.

Yokohama’s global business employs over 20,000 people in more than 120 countries, working across manufacturing, sales and servicing.

Yokohama’s Grand Design 100 Management Plan was launched in 2006 and covers a 12-year period that includes their corporate centennial in 2017. The plan comprises four three-year segments, each focused on a strategic theme to maximize customer value and expand the company’s global scope. Yokohama are now just entering the fourth and final phase which focuses on growth of annual net sales, annual operating income and operating profit margin.

The first interviews regarding the announcement can be read here...